The second phase of the nationwide vaccination drive against Covid-19 began on Friday. The largest such drill undertaken till now, 33 states and Union Territories (UTs) will be covered under it. As India gets ready to carry out the mammoth drive to ensure smooth operations once vaccination actually starts, here is everything one needs to know:
◐ Aim of Vaccine Drive: The aim of the drill is to simulate the actual administration of the vaccine drive, the health ministry has said. It will be held at three session sites of 736 districts across 33 states and union territories.
◐ Which Vaccines Have Been Approved? India's drugs regulator has approved Oxford Covid-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country. The dry run paves the way for the roll-out of at least these two vaccines in the country in the coming days.
◐ All Planning Under DM or District Collector: The entire planning of the vaccination drive including beneficiary registration, microplanning and vaccination at the planned session site will be tested under the leadership of district collector or district magistrate. The dry run will also familiarise the state, district, block and hospital level officers on all aspects of the roll-out.
◐ States, UTs Likely to Receive Covid Vaccine Soon: The government has informed states and UTs that they are likely to receive the first supply of Covid-19 vaccine shortly and asked them to remain prepared to accept these consignments. The health ministry said the vaccine will be supplied to the identified consignee points of 19 states and union territories -- Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal -- by the supplier. The central government plans to vaccinate nearly 30 crore people in the first phase of drive. It will be offered to one crore healthcare workers, along with 2 crore frontline and essential workers and 27 crore elderly, mostly above the age of 50 years with comorbidities.
◐ UP, Haryana, Arunachal Not Participating: Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Arunachal Pradesh will not be participating in the drill. They have already conducted the drive in all their districts.
◐ Major Districts Covered in Delhi: In Delhi, the South Delhi, South East Delhi and North West Delhi and New Delhi districts will be covered under the drive, authorities said.
◐ Observation Rooms Prepared: Uttarakhand will see the dry run being conducted at 130 health centres across the state, 10 each in every district. When the vaccination starts, every beneficiary will have to wait for 30 minutes in an observation room after getting inoculated, to see if the vaccine produces an opposite effect, according to the government of India guidelines, officials said.
◐ Harsh Vardhan to Oversee Preparations in Tamil Nadu: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan will visit Tamil Nadu on Friday to review preparedness and oversee the dry run. He will visit the sessions site at Government General Hospital, Chennai followed by the one at Government Omandurar Hospital, Chennai.
◐ CoWIN Application: COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network or CoWIN app and its ecosystem will be used to manage and scale up the massive vaccination drive that is expected to begin soon across the country. Everything will be fed to the database in real-time.