India is set to hold a two-day dry run for the largest and most ambitious mass immunisation programme in its history. A two-day dry run for coronavirus vaccine program starts today in Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat and Assam. Focus on management of possible adverse events after immunisation, and dry runs that include checks on cold storage and transportation arrangements will be part of program that will be carried out in the chosen districts in each state.
All the four states will report their observations to the centre recorded during the program. The government plans to cover 30 crore people in the first phase when it rolls out a vaccine for coronavirus. A total of 2,360 training sessions have been held so far, and 7,000 officials have been trained, including medical officers and vaccinators. Across the four states, five sessions will be held at identified locations with 25 test pre-identified beneficiaries – healthcare workers – for each session. Each district will receive the dummy vaccine for 100 beneficiaries from the nearest depot. Temperature will be tracked through the vaccine’s journey from the depot to the vaccination site.
An SMS will be sent in advance to the beneficiaries with the name of the vaccinator, and the time of the vaccination. Each beneficiary will be made to sit for 30 minutes after being administered the shot; if an adverse event occurs, its management will be tracked through the central server. AEFI (Adverse Event Following Immunisation) panels will be formed and treatment centres will also be identified if the vaccine triggers an adverse response in any of the beneficiaries. With over 10 million total infections, India is the world’s second worst affected country, even though daily case numbers have been falling consistently over the past three months. Feasibility of Co-WIN, an electronic application that identifies beneficiaries, and prerequisites for vaccine introduction as per operational guidelines will be assessed.