- Dry run will be conducted in all State Capitals in at least 3 session sites
- The first dry run was held on December 28 and 29 in four states
- COVID-19 vaccine will be getting regulatory approval in early 2021: Centre
New Delhi: A dry run for COVID-19 vaccination will be conducted by all state and union territory administrations on January 2 to test the linkages between planning and implementation and to identify the challenges, the Centre said on Thursday (December 31). The activity is proposed to be conducted in all state capitals in at least 3 session sites. Some states will also include districts that are situated in difficult terrain/have poor logistical support, while Maharashtra and Kerala are likely to schedule the dry run in major cities other than their capital, the Union Health Ministry said.
The first round of the dry run was conducted in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Punjab on December 28-29, 2020 in two districts each where five-session sites with 25 beneficiaries each were identified. No major issues were observed in the operational aspects during this dry run. All States expressed confidence in the operational guidelines and IT platform for large scale programme implementation.
The objective of the dry run for COVID-19 vaccine introduction is to assess operational feasibility in the use of Co-WIN application in field environment, to test the linkages between planning and implementation and to identify the challenges and guide way forward prior to actual implementation. This is also expected to give confidence to programme managers at various levels, the ministry said.
The central government has also asked all states and UTs to ensure effective preparedness for the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Thursday chaired a high-level meeting to review the preparedness at session sites for COVID-19 vaccination with principal secretaries (Health) and other health administrators of all states and UTs through video-conferencing.
The planning for the vaccine introduction will be as per the Operational Guidelines issued by the Ministry on 20th December 2020. For each of the three Session Sites, the concerned Medical Officer In-charge will identify 25 test beneficiaries (healthcare workers). The States/UTs have been asked to ensure that the data of these beneficiaries is uploaded in Co-WIN. These beneficiaries will also be available at the session site for the dry run. The States and UTs shall prepare the facilities and users to be created on CoWIN application including uploading the data of Health Care Worker (HCW) beneficiaries.
The States/UTs have been asked to ensure physical verification of all proposed sites for adequacy of space, logistical arrangements, internet connectivity, electricity, safety etc; prepare at least three model session sites in each State (at State capital) for demonstration; ensure that the Model Sites have separate entry and exit in a ‘three-room set-up’ with adequate space outside for awareness generation activities; display all IEC material at these sites; ensure that all SOPs and protocols are being practiced at the identified sites in an ideal environment along with vaccination teams to be identified and trained in all aspects. The dry run will also equip the State and UT administration in management of vaccine supply, storage and logistics including cold chain management.
As the vaccine administrators will play an important role in the vaccination process, training of trainers and those who shall administer the vaccine has been taken up across various States. Around 96,000 vaccinators have been trained for this purpose. 2,360 participants have been trained in National Training of Trainers and over 57,000 participants trained in District level training in 719 districts. States are augmenting the State helpline 104 (which shall be used in addition to 1075) for any vaccine/software related query. Orientation and capacity building of the Call Centre executives has taken place in the States/UTs. States were also encouraged to use the FAQs issued by the Health Ministry proactively to address any such query.
An important focus of the dry run will be on management of any possible adverse events following immunisation (AEFI). In addition, adherence and management of infection control practices at the session site, to prevent disease transmission. The mock drill will include concurrent monitoring and review at the block and district levels, and preparation of feedback. The State Task Force shall review the feedback and share with the Union Health Ministry.
States/UTs were also asked to address the communication challenges by taking in confidence all the concerned stakeholders and by augmenting the community engagement ‘Jan bhagidari’ through innovative strategies.
Detailed checklist has been prepared by the Union Health Ministry and shared with the States/UTs to guide them in the dry run.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.