A dry run to check the best way to vaccinate people against COVID-19 and plug loopholes in logistics and training has started in all the states today. This day-long drive will also test the operational feasibility in the use of CoWIN application in a field environment. Short for Covid Vaccine Intelligence Network, CoWIN is a digital platform to roll out and scale up the vaccination drive. The massive exercise comes a day after a panel of government-appointed experts recommended approval for the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine, manufactured by Serum Institute of India, to the regulator Drugs Control Authority of India. Today’s exercise is the second dry run being conducted in the country – the first was on December 28 and 29 in Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and Gujarat.
Across India, the dry run is being conducted in in 116 districts across 259 sites. Some 96,000 vaccinators have been trained for this, the Health Ministry had said. Of these, 2,360 participants have been trained in the National Training of Trainers and over 57,000 with district-level training in 719 districts.
The process, in which 25 health workers will receive dummy vaccines at each spot, is meant to test the mechanisms and reveal possible gaps in the system ahead of the actual vaccination drive. “An important focus of the dry run will be on management of any possible adverse events following immunization,” the Health Ministry said in a statement.
The Health Minister will monitor the dry run in the national capital. The sites are Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital in Shahdara, urban primary health centre in Daryaganj and Venkateshwar Hospital in Dwarka.
India is awaiting vaccination for COVID-19 and it will start anytime soon after the regulator DCGI approves a vaccine. The Serum Institute of India (SII) is making the vaccine Covishield developed by Oxford University and pharma major AstraZeneca, while Bharat Biotech has partnered with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for its Covaxin.