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A mock-drill of COVID vaccination was done effectively involving 250 health workers on December 28-29 in Sonitpur and Nalbari districts of Assam.

“All the 250 health workers spontaneously participated in the dry-run of the vaccination without any technical hitch or any other problem,” said a senior official of the National Health Mission (NHM), which had been mandated to carry out the task.

One of the beneficiaries, a nurse at Nalbari Urban Health Centre, said the process was easy to understand and everything went smoothly.

Assam’s National Health Mission’s (NHM) Director Lakshmanan S said that the dry-run of the COVID-19 vaccination was done successfully and effectively in 10 health institutions of the two districts including the Tezpur Medical College.

“This mock-drill or the dry-run was limited to 250 health workers only. No members among the general public were included in the two-day dry run,” Lakshmanan S told the media.

He said that 10 medical teams conducted the COVID vaccination dry-run in 10 health institutions including the Nalbari District Civil Hospital, the Nalbari Urban Health Centre, the Tezpur Urban Health Centre and two provate hospitals, besides the Tezpur Medical College in Assam.

‘COVID vaccination dry-run just a trial’

NHM director said the entire process – including all steps of possible vaccinations – was just a trial.

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He said that during the COVID vaccination dry-run exercise end-to-end testing of COVID-19 vaccination process was done that include planning and preparations including prerequisites for the vaccine introduction as per the operational guidelines, creation of facilities and users on CoWIN application, review meetings at block, districts and state and providing feedback to guide actions.

The senior IAS officer, who is also a physician by profession, said that under the COVID vaccination programme, pre-identified beneficiaries from specified groups – initially health care workers and frontline workers – would be vaccinated, supported by CoWIN, an electronic application.

Another official of the Assam Health and Family Welfare department said that the immunisation partners the UNDP and the WHO at the state level were supporting the dry-run.

She said that the dry-run of COVID-19 possible vaccination was conducted to test the laid-out mechanisms for COVID-19 injection in the selected four states and provide insights into any gaps to be addressed before the commencement of the real vaccination drive.

“The exercise (COVID vaccination dry-run) experienced the functionality of CoWIN, an online platform for monitoring the delivery of coronavirus vaccine, involvement of team members, identification and checking cold storage for storing the vaccine, systematic transportation preparations and other measures while following all necessary protocols, stipulated by the central authorities,” the official said, refusing to be named.

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