Dry run of COVID-19 vaccination concludes in 2 select Punjab districts

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Ludhiana/Nawanshahr (Pb), Dec 29 (PTI) A two-day mock drill of the distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccine in two select districts of Punjab concluded on Tuesday.

The districts of Ludhiana and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar (Nawanshahr) had been selected for the dry run, aimed at testing the laid out mechanisms for the vaccination roll-out in the health system, officials said.

Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu had said the drill would provide insights on any gaps or bottlenecks in the vaccine distribution and its administration to the population so that those could be addressed before the commencement of the COVID-19 immunisation drive.

The dry run had been planned by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Assam and Gujarat, he said. The district administration of Ludhiana successfully completed the dry run regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, Deputy Commissioner Varinder Kumar Sharma said.

He said in district Ludhiana, the dry run was successfully conducted at seven locations (one in each sub division), namely, Civil Hospital Ludhiana, Dayanand Medical College & Hospital, Raikot, Jagraon, Machhiwara, Khanna and Payal.

Sharma said on a trial basis, 25 healthcare workers each, who had registered themselves on CoWIN portal for monitoring the delivery of COVID-19 vaccine, were called at the seven locations.

He said during the dry run, the end-to-end testing of COVID-19 vaccination process was successfully tested.

The deputy commissioner also said that in the first phase, more than 30,000 healthcare workers (both government and private) of district Ludhiana, who had registered themselves would be administered the vaccine, followed by Anganwadi workers, people aged above 50 years, people below 50 years with comorbidities, and others.

The dry run exercise was also successfully conducted in Nawanshahr district, Civil Surgeon Rajinder Prasad Bhatia said. He said five sites were set up for the exercise in the district.

“The main objective of the dry run exercise was to test the immunisation process, including planning and preparation, creating of vaccination sites, viewing the status of CoWIN application, mapping of sites, successfully uploading healthcare worker data, carrying of vaccines, among others. This also included distribution of vaccine, planning, deployment of immunisation teams and delivery of other equipment to vaccination sites,” he said.

Bhatia said vaccination messages were sent to intended beneficiaries of COVID-19 taking part in the exercise through the CoWIN app a day in advance, who reached their designated session venues here on Tuesday and took part in the mock immunisation exercise. He said waiting rooms, immunisation rooms and monitoring rooms were set up at each vaccination site.

The civil surgeon said in the mock drill, five vaccination officers and one supervisor were deployed at each location, who were assigned different duties related to the procedure of coronavirus vaccination. Nawanshahr's District Immunisation Officer Devinder Dhanda said the main objective of the dry run exercise was to check the parameters prescribed for COVID-19 vaccination in the health system so that any internal deficiencies could be detected and rectified in time. He said the dry run exercises at five places in the district were a complete success. He said the process of administering 'dummy vaccines' to 25 beneficiaries at each session site was completed. During this time, all the parameters related to the vaccination process were scrutinised. Dhanda added that when the actual vaccination of COVID-19 would start, this exercise would be helpful for all the officers and employees. PTI TEAM SUN VSD SRY