A two-day dry run for the coronavirus vaccine program starts today in Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat and Assam. Focus on management of possible adverse events after immunization, and dry runs that include checks on cold storage and transportation arrangements will be part of the program that will be carried out in the chosen districts in each state.
All four states will report their observations to the center recorded during the program. The government plans to cover 30 crore people in the first phase when it rolls out a vaccine for coronavirus.
A total of 2,360 training sessions have been held so far, and 7,000 officials have been trained, including medical officers and vaccinators.
In Andhra Pradesh, the dry run that will take place in Krishna district is aimed at testing the planned operations and the laid-out mechanisms in the state, Health Commissioner Katamaneni Bhaskar told reporters on Sunday.
It will provide insights into any gaps or bottlenecks so that those could be addressed before the commencement of the actual drive. Across the four states, five sessions will be held at identified locations with 25 test pre-identified beneficiaries – healthcare workers – for each session.
Feasibility of Co-WIN, an electronic application that identifies beneficiaries, and prerequisites for vaccine introduction as per operational guidelines will be assessed.
AEFI (Adverse Event Following Immunisation) panels will be formed and treatment centers will also be identified if the vaccine triggers an adverse response in any of the beneficiaries.
“After the dry run, we will prepare a report for the State Task Force, which will review the feedback and guide us on further actions,” Mr. Bhaskar said. The report will also be submitted to the Union Health Ministry, the Commissioner said.
In Assam, the health department will roll out the dry run in two districts – Sonitpur and Nalbari districts The end-to-end testing of the Covid-19 vaccination process includes vaccine and logistics mobilization to the sites in the two districts, as per officials.
Earlier this month, Bharat Biotech, Serum Institute of India (SII) and Pfizer had applied to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), seeking emergency use authorization for their COVID-19 vaccines.
India has logged over 1.01 crore coronavirus cases so far, the second-highest in the world after the United States. Over 1.47 lakh people have died after contracting the virus, one of the most infectious the world has seen in decades.