New Delhi: India prepares itself for the second mass dry-run for COVID vaccine rollout on January 8 across all districts of the country, except in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on January 6. As per the schedule of dry-runs, Uttar Pradesh has already conducted the dry run in all districts on January 5, while Haryana is scheduled to organise today (January 7). Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan also held a visual conference with all the Health Ministers of the states/Union Territories (UTs) today to guide States/UTs on the conduct of dry run. While chairing the meeting, he said,
As a simulation of actual execution, another round of dry run/mock drill in all 700+ districts of all States/UTs is planned on January 8, 2021 to ensure efficient planning and management for vaccine delivery in each district of all States/UTs.
The Ministry has said that around 1.7 lakh vaccinators and 3 lakh vaccination team members have been trained on the process to be followed at the vaccination sites which include beneficiary verification, vaccination, cold chain and logistics management, bio-medical waste management, AEFI (Adverse event following immunization) management, and reporting on Co-WIN software. The first dry run of the vaccination drive took place across 125 districts covering all States/UTs on January 2. One day after the first dry-run, India’s drugs regulator had approved Oxford Institute’s COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, which is being developed by the Pune-based Serum Institute, and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, for emergency use in the country.
???? In a massive country-wide exercise, another Mock Drill on COVID19 Vaccine administration to be conducted in all States & UTs on January 8, 2021
— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) January 7, 2021
NDTV speaks with experts to know more about the preparations being planned by the higher authorise across the country in regard with COVID-19 vaccination programme.
Speaking about the clarity on whether the process of procurement of the drugs is happening fast enough in the country to ensure that roll out happens from one week from now, Dr Anjan Trikha, Chairman of Clinical Managerial Group at COVID Centre, AIIMS , said,
Yes, the government has done its homework. The list of the frontline workers has been prepared and is with the government, I myself have given my identity proof for the vaccination drive to the authorities and I am sure the vaccination programme will start as per schedule. We must realise at the same time that this is a huge task for the government, but we have two positives in our hand. First is we have the universal vaccination programme that goes from metropolitan cities to villages and second is we do our elections every 4-5 years in every state of India at the respective polling booths and everything is managed well without any problems. These two kinds of experiences that the government has will ensure the roll-out of this massive vaccination drive is done smoothly and will make sure that the vaccine is given to the individual at the right time and place. Logistics are being worked out as far as coronavirus vaccine drive is concerned and it is at a very advance stage.
On the other hand, Dr Radhakrishnan, Tamil Nadu, Health Secretary highlighted the preparedness being done in the state for COVID vaccine drive and added,
We had the very clear guidelines that have been communicated to us by the government of India and with respect to the central guidelines, our state Tamil Nadu is also preparing side by side with the universal vaccination programme. In Tamil Nadu, 50 walk-in-coolers have already been installed and cold-storages are being prepped. With that, we have identified 2088 secondary spots have been identified and roughly the state has 47,000 sites for the vaccination. Initially, the state will be vaccinating its healthcare workers, which is approximately 6 lakh people and include healthcare workers from both private and government facilities as directed by the government. We already had the dry-run before in the five districts and 17 sites for the COVID-19 vaccine to check the logistics and implementation of everything on-ground. And now this same drill will be done in all the districts of the state tomorrow. The syringes and needles for the vaccination has already arrived at the central depot and we have already started the dispatching process of the same to various districts.
Stressing on the point that India is in a far better position when compared to the other countries, Professor Nirmal Kumar Ganguly, Former Director General at Indian Council Of Medical Research added,
In India, we have a central plan and funding for the vaccination drive for coronavirus. In other countries, the vaccine has been distributed but there is no central body taking care of the plan and ensuring its smooth implementation. The central government is monitoring the funding and execution of the universal immunisation programme but even state governments have a very crucial role to play as ultimately they will be the one administrating the vaccine to the people. The states across India has to ensure that they are training their respective healthcare workers, keeping the vaccination sites ready and they have to keep the sites somewhere near the hospital so that if there is something serious, the person could be move quickly over to the hospital.
As per the health ministry, the reason for doing more and more dry runs was to familiarise the state, district, block, and hospital-level officers on all aspects of the COVID-19 rollout. The dry run happening across India is aimed at testing the laid-out mechanisms for COVID-19 vaccination roll-out in the health system and to assess operational feasibility of using Co-WIN application in a field environment for planning, implementation, and reporting at the block, district, and state level.
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.