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Dry run of Covid vaccination begins in Gandhinagar, preparations complete in Rajkot

Gujarat is one of the four states that has been selected for the dry run of Covid-19 vaccine ahead of its roll out in the country, with Rajkot and Gandhinagar being the two districts selected for the mock drill.

A dry run to check the preparedness of health officials for administering the Covid-19 vaccine was conducted at four places in Gandhinagar district on Monday, while preparations were completed for a similar exercise to be undertaken in Rajkot district on Tuesday.

Gujarat is one of the four states that has been selected for the dry run of Covid-19 vaccine ahead of its roll out in the country, with Rajkot and Gandhinagar being the two districts selected for the mock drill. As per the laid procedure, the trial of the vaccination drive will cover urban, semi-urban, and rural areas.

In Gandhinagar, officials said, the trials were held at Adalaj Primary Health Centre, Adalaj Community Health Centre, Tarapur sub-centre, and Aashka hospital, thus covering the preparedness of both the private and government health facilities. In Rajkot district, the trial vaccination runs will be held at Rajkot city and Gondal taluka on Tuesday, officials added.

Gandhinagar Collector Kuldeep Arya told The Indian Express, “This dry run will check how the software, which has been developed for the database and to co-ordinate sending messages to all those on whom vaccine will be administered, is responding. Also, meetings of health workers and all those involved in the vaccination drive will be held.”

SMS alerts that will be sent out in advance to those in the first phase of the vaccination drive will include details like the vaccination schedule, the location where it will be administered, and waiting period among other details facilitating the recipients.

Arya said there no vaccine will be administered during the dry run. However, nearly 25 healthcare staff at each of these four selected centres would be reached out through SMS, who will act as dummy candidates for the vaccine.

In Rajkot, health officers said they have identified five booths — Padmakunvarba Hospital and Shyamnagar Arogya Kendra, both run by the Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC), Sheth High School and Municipal School No 23, and Sterling Hospital, a private hospital, for Tuesday’s trial run. In Gondal, the health department has selected state government-run sub-district hospital, private facility Shree Ram Hospital, Bhagwatpara area of the town, Gomta village, and SVP School at Moviya village in the taluka as booths for the dry run.

“All the booths have been allocated 24 beneficiaries. The booths will have a vaccinator and four vaccination officers. Each booth has been connected to a vaccine cold-chain point from where batches of vaccine vials will be dispatched to vaccine booths. We have selected such points for towns and villages. The dry run would be conducted as actual vaccination save the real injection of the shot. Health workers have been drafted as dummy beneficiaries,” Dr Mitesh Bhanderi, Chief District Health Officer (CDHO) of Rajkot told The Indian Express.

Dr Bhanderi said beneficiaries here will also get an SMS alert about the time and address of the vaccination booth a day in advance. Vaccination officer or VO-I, he said, stationed at the gate of the vaccination booth will verify if a person, who has turned up at the booth, is the one expected on a given date and time by cross-checking the SMS with a list of beneficiaries he would be supplied and after verification would allow his/her entry. VO-II would verify details of the beneficiary through Co-WIN application and if authenticated, would direct such beneficiary to the vaccination room, he added.

The vaccinator would then follow the standard operating procedure of vaccination, short of the actual injection of a vaccine, and would inform the VO-II about the procedure having been completed, Dr Bhanderi said. After this, the VO-II would report on Co-WIN the beneficiary having been vaccinated and direct the beneficiary to a waiting room. If any adverse event following the immunisation (AEFI) is reported by the beneficiary during the 30-minute waiting period inside the booth, it will be reported on Co-WIN platform, the CDHO said. VO-III and VO-IV would do such reporting, besides managing the crowd and helping other staff. A monitor would also visit the booth during the vaccination session.

“The dry run vaccination session would begin at 9 am and is likely to continue till 1 pm. After that, we will review the session and report to higher authorities,” Dr Bhanderi said. He added that 170 health workers and medical staff would participate in the exercise.

“Those who would participate in the dry run include the staffers of RMC and private hospitals. The dry run began on Sunday with meetings and preparations which continued on Monday. The drill will culminate with vaccination sessions using dummy beneficiaries on Tuesday,” Dr Lalit Vaja, the Municipal Officer of Health (MoH), RMC, said.

The RMC had earlier conducted a door-to-door survey to identify and enlist people above 50 years and those having comorbidities to prepare a list of priority beneficiaries for Covid-19 vaccination. The RMC had identified around 1.8 lakh such people through the survey.

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