(Eds: Adds quotes, details) Ahmedabad, Dec 28 (PTI) A two-day dry run to check the preparedness of health authorities for a future nationwide COVID-19 vaccination programme began on Monday in Rajkot and Gandhinagar districts of Gujarat, officials said.
Gujarat is one of the four states chosen by the Centre to conduct the mock COVID-19 vaccination drive.
'In Gujarat, the dry run is being carried out in Rajkot district, Rajkot city, Gandhinagar district and Gandhinagar city,' State Immunisation Office Dr Nayan Jani told reporters.
He said health officials of these districts and cities were engaged in administrative work on the first day of the drive.
'The actual field visits will begin on Tuesday,' Jani said, adding that actual (potential) vaccine shots will not be administered on people during the dry run.
'On Monday, we did administrative and paper work, such as uploading data of beneficiaries, manpower and cold chain infrastructure on Co-WIN (a central software application developed for the vaccination drive).
'We identified 19 session sites in these four places for conducting a dry run of the vaccination drive,' Jani said.
He said the on-ground dry run will begin at these 19 sites on Tuesday and gaps identified during the process, including possible issues with the CoWIN software, will be informed to the Centre.
The digital platform, CoWIN, will be used for rolling out and scaling up COVID-19 vaccine distribution across the country.
A total of 15,000 people have been trained to administer the vaccine once the actual process starts, and the state's daily coverage would be 15 lakh, with each one of those trained administering the vaccine to 100 people, Jani informed.
'Apart from 4 lakh health and 6 lakh frontline workers, we have identified and registered around 1 crore people over 50 years of age who will be covered on priority basis in the real drive in the state,' he added.
Vaccine doses will be stored in some 2,200 cold chain points across Gujarat, and though mass vaccination drives for measles and rubella have been undertaken since 1985, this is for the first time information technology platforms will be utilised to bolster the process, Jani added.
The Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation (GMC) has identified 125 beneficiaries in the city who will be covered by 50 health staff at five sites during the dry run on Tuesday, said GMC Health Officer Dr Kalpesh Goswami. PTI PJT PD NSK BNM RSY RSY