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India conducts Covid-19 vaccine dry run across country

January 4, 2021: Ahead of the actual vaccination drive, the ministry of health & family welfare on Saturday conducted a nationwide mock drill at 285 session sites to test the end-to-end planned operations and the mechanism that has been set up to ensure smooth conduct of the Covid-19 vaccination that is expected to begin soon.

The union minister for health and family welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan visited two mock vaccination sites in Delhi to review the dry run drill for administering the Covid-19 vaccine.
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The union minister for health and family welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan visited two mock vaccination sites in Delhi to review the dry run drill for administering the Covid-19 vaccine.

January 4, 2021: Ahead of the actual vaccination drive, the ministry of health & family welfare on Saturday conducted a nationwide mock drill at 285 session sites to test the end-to-end planned operations and the mechanism that has been set up to ensure smooth conduct of the Covid-19 vaccination that is expected to begin soon.

The union minister for health and family welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan visited two mock vaccination sites in Delhi to review the dry run drill for administering the Covid-19 vaccine.

He first visited the GTB Hospital in Shahdara and later an Urban Primary Health Centre (UPHC) in Daryaganj.

“This dry run of the vaccination drive spread across 125 districts is covering all States/UTs having adequate representation of urban and rural districts along with hard-to-reach areas,” says the release.

Dr Harsh Vardhan said, “The entire exercise of the vaccination process is being systematically taken forward, including training of personnel for administering the vaccine. Detailed guidelines have been issued to multiple stakeholders after extensive deliberations, paying attention to each and every minute aspect.”

He noted that the digital platform, Co-WIN, repurposed from the e-VIN platform is the real game-changer, and will provide real-time information of vaccine stocks, their storage temperature and individualized tracking of beneficiaries of the Covid-19 vaccine. This unique platform will assist the program managers across all levels through automated session allocation for pre-registered beneficiaries, their verification and for generating a digital certificate upon successful completion of the vaccine schedule. More than 75 lakh beneficiaries have been registered on Co-WIN platform till date.

Dr Vardhan said, “The country’s cold chain infrastructure has been sufficiently upgraded to ensure last-mile delivery. Adequate supplies of syringes and other logistics have also been provided for.”

Dr Harsh Vardhan described how India has unparalleled experience in dealing with immunization and runs one of the largest immunization programs in the world. He noted that India has been applauded by the world for its robust Universal Immunization Programs. He said India has conducted several successful immunization drives with respect to Polio, Rubella and Measles. He narrated his personal experience from the early nineties of having galvanized efforts of millions of Indians which eventually led to the eradication of Polio from the country.

“It is as a result of our steadfastness and dedication, that India was declared polio-free in 2014. Our rich learning from the earlier immunisation drives including the Polio vaccination campaign is being used to guide our present countrywide Covid-19 vaccination campaign”, he stated.

The minister said that the entire operational planning and IT platform has been field-tested in four states on December 28 & 29; and on the basis of feedback received, certain enhancements have been made in the system. All the State & District officials have been thoroughly trained for conducting this dry-run that is aimed at testing the laid-out mechanisms for Covid-19 vaccine roll-out. This dry run ended with review meetings at the district and state level to discuss the issues and challenges encountered during the exercise. States/UTs have been requested to share the feedback with MoHFW which will be analyzed for ironing out any glitches in the final execution and further refinement of the operational procedures.

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