India's Covid vaccination mock drill: planning, logistics to be in focus 1608136114 147

    Barely days away from the roll-out of a Covid-19 vaccine in India, the Centre has directed all the states and Union Territories (UTs) to conduct a dry run of the immunisation drive on Saturday to check the preparedness of the healthcare ecosystem. The drill will also test the health authorities’ abilities to manage vaccine supply, storage and logistics, including cold chain management.

    The government has trained 96,000 vaccinators so far for the world’s largest immunisation exercise. A helpline, 104, is also being augmented by states for any vaccine-related queries.

    “The objective of the dry run is to assess operational feasibility in the use of Co-WIN application in field environment, test the linkages between planning and implementation, and identify the challenges and guide way forward prior to actual implementation. This is also expected to give confidence to programme managers at various levels,” the Union health ministry said.

    All the state capitals will conduct the dry run on Saturday at three session sites, some of which might be in difficult terrain with poor logistical support.

    According to the ministry’s estimates, 29,000 cold chain points, 240 walk-in coolers, 70 walk-in freezers, 45,000 ice-lined refrigerators, 41,000 deep freezers, and 300 solar refrigerators will be required as the vaccine is rolled out across the country.

    Of the 23.9-million vaccinators — auxiliary nurses and midwives who provide vaccination under the universal immunisation programme, 15.4 million will be used for Covid vaccination, the ministry had said earlier.


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