COVID-19: Centre asks states to gear up for vaccine rollout; dry run to be conducted on Jan 2

New Delhi: The Central government has asked all the states and union territories to get prepared for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, the dry run of which will be conducted on January 2, 2021.

This announcement was made by the Union Health Secretary Sh. Rajesh Bhushan after a high-level meeting for COVID-19 vaccination with Pr. Secretaries (Health), NHM MDs and other health administrators of all states/UTs through video conference, on Thursday.

In a press statement, the health ministry said that the dry run will be conducted in the state capitals in at least 3 session sites. However, in Kerala and Mumbai, the vaccination will roll out in other parts of the state as well.

 “This is to assess operational feasibility in the use of Co-WIN application in the field environment, to test the linkages between planning and implementation and to identify the challenges and guide way forward prior to actual implementation,” the statement said.

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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.

For the activity, the Center has asked the states/UTs to ensure physical verification of all proposed sites for the adequacy of space, logistical arrangements, internet connectivity, electricity, and safety; and also to prepare at least three model session sites in each state (at state capital) for demonstration. It also asked that the Model Sites to have separate entry and exit in a ‘three-room set-up’ with adequate space outside for awareness generation activities.

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According to the health ministry as many as 96,000 vaccinators were trained for the vaccine rollout, out which 2,360 participants were trained in National Training of Trainers and over 57,000 participants trained in district level training in 719 districts.

A mock drill was conducted in the first round of the dry run in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Punjab on December 28 and 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. 

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