COVID-19 vaccination dry run conducted in Goa

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Panaji, Jan 2 (PTI) A dry run to assess the readiness of the mechanism laid out for the imminent COVID-19 immunisation drive was conducted successfully in Goa on Saturday, a top state health department official said.

Goa Health Secretary Amit Satija told reporters that the mock drill was carried out at three state-run Primary Health Centres (PHCs) at Corlim, Panaji and Aldona, all in North Goa, which were identified for the purpose.

'Various aspects like necessary logistics, actual implementation of the protocol, generation of a (COVID-19) vaccination certificate were tested during the dry run in which healthcare workers took part,' Satija told reporters.

No actual vaccine was administered to any identified beneficiary during this exercise, which he said was conducted successfully.

The health secretary said that Goa, which comprises South Goa and North Goa districts, has adequate cold chain capacity to store COVID-19 vaccine, approval for which is imminent.

He said the Central government had also approved more 'ice banks' for the storage of vials of the vaccine.

'Help is being taken from private hospitals in Goa to augment the vaccine storage capacity,' Satija added.

An expert panel of India's Central Drug Authority on Friday recommended granting permission for restricted emergency use of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine Covishield, being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, paving the way for the roll-out of the first COVID-19 shot in the country in the next few days.

The SEC recommendations have been forwarded to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for final approval.