Ahead of nationwide exercise, COVID-19 vaccine dry run in Haryana
A dry run of the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out was conducted in Haryana on Thursday, a day before the exercise will be conducted across India. A dry run is a mock drill where everything except vaccine administering is tested. The exercise, which was held across all 22 districts of the state, was aimed at identifying challenges in vaccine delivery to help resolve them.
The exercise was conducted across 22 districts at six sites, including three urban and three rural sites. It was held from 11 am till 1 pm at all sites simultaneously. In light of this exercise, the Union Health Ministry has exempted Haryana from the nationwide mock drill on January 8 (Friday). Uttar Pradesh—where a dry run was conducted on January 5—has also been exempted.
Earlier, the Hindustan Times had reported that the regional emergencies director of the World Health Organization, Dr. Roderico Ofrin, was likely to visit two of the six session sites in Gurugram: a primary health center in Bhangrola and a government primary school in Wazirabad.
Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan held a meeting with Health Ministers of all states and union territories. Vardhan asked authorities to be prepared and stop misinformation campaigns ahead of the nationwide dry run. "Tomorrow dry run will be done in 33 states and union territories," he said, adding that improvements were made based on feedback from previous such exercises.
Each district across India has been asked to identify three types of session sites, including a public health facility (District Hospital/Medical College), private health facility, and rural or urban outreach sites. Around 1.7 lakh vaccinators and three lakh vaccination team members have been trained. The exercise includes beneficiary verification, cold chain & logistics management, bio-medical waste management, AEFI management, and reporting on Co-WIN software.
The first nationwide dry run was held on January 2 at 286 session sites across 125 districts in India. The aim of this exercise was to familiarize the state, district, block, and hospital-level officers on all aspects of the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out.
India has granted emergency use authorization (EUA) to two vaccines for restricted use across the country: Covishield and COVAXIN. Covishield has been developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, and manufactured by Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII), while COVAXIN has been developed indigenously by the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech. Notably, COVAXIN has been granted EUA "as an abundant precaution, in clinical trial mode."