With the objective of gearing up for the rollout of COVID-19 vaccine across the country, the central government has asked all States and Union Territories to ensure effective preparedness for the vaccine rollout.
Earlier today, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan chaired a high-level meeting to review the preparedness at session sites for COVID-19 vaccination with Principal Secretaries (Health), National Health Mission (NHM) officials and other health administrators of all States/Union Territories (UTs) through video conference.
The dry run will be conducted by all the State and UT governments on January 2, 2021, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) said.
“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; Maharashtra and Kerala are likely to schedule the dry run in major cities other than their capital,” the Ministry said.
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.
The planning for the vaccine introduction will be as per the operational guidelines issued by the Ministry on December 20, 2020.
“For each of the three Session Sites, the concerned Medical Officer In-charge will identify 25 test beneficiaries (healthcare workers),” it added.
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. Union Health Ministry asked States and UTs to 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 and safety.
The dry run will also equip the State and UT administration in management of vaccine supply, storage and logistics including cold chain management.
According to Health Ministry said that 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.”
The 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.