COVID-19 vaccine: Centre to start dry run in four statesLast updated on Dec 27, 2020, 10:01 pm
Ahead of the grant of emergency approval to a vaccine for COVID-19, the Centre is looking forward to starting a dry run in four states from Monday.
The two-day exercise will be carried out in two districts each in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, and Punjab.
The aim of the dry run—where everything except vaccine administering will be tested—is to identify challenges in vaccine delivery.
Vaccine delivery processes to be tested for feasibility
The exercise will not involve vaccine, however, all other processes will be checked for feasibility, including real-time monitoring through Co-WIN app.
Further, as part of the mock drill, cold storage will be tested along with the transport of vaccines from cold storage to the sites and crowd management at vaccination sites.
This would allow program managers to get hands-on experience.
Dry run to be conducted at different sites
Since as many sites as possible will be used for vaccination, the dry run will also be conducted in different kinds of settings such as district hospitals, community health centers or primary health care centers, urban sites, private health facilities, etc.
The exercise will include simultaneous monitoring and review at block and district levels, and the preparation of feedback for state and central governments.
Covishield approval expected next week
India is yet to approve a vaccine for COVID-19, however, three are under consideration by India's drug regulator: Oxford University-AstraZeneca's Covishield, Pfizer-BioNTech's BNT162b2 or Tozinameran, and Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN.
Approval to Covishield is reportedly expected next week.
As many as 2,360 people have been trained as immunization officers, cold chain officers, information, education and communication officials, and development partners.
How bad is the outbreak in India?
As of Sunday morning, India reported 1,01,87,850 COVID-19 cases, with a spike of 18,732 fresh infections reported over a 24-hour period.
The total cases include 2,78,690 active cases and 97,61,538 recoveries.
The death toll has risen to 1,47,622 with 279 new fatalities in the past 24 hours.
Even as the pace of the outbreak has slowed, India remains the world's second worst-hit country.