Dry run tests preparedness for vaccination

Exercise carried out at seven centres on 175 volunteers in the Union Territory

The second dry run ahead of the nation-wide rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination programme was held at select hospitals in the Union Territory on Friday.

The exercise was carried out at seven select centres, which included the General Hospitals in Puducherry, Karaikal and Yanam and targeted 175 volunteers. Each centre conducted the test on 25 volunteers.

“The second round of mock vaccination was tested out as the efficacy of immunisation requires repeating the dose after 28 days of the first jab is administered for immunity to develop,” Director of Health S. Mohan Kumar said.

The first and second dry run exercises have been successfully completed in the Union Territory, he said.

During the first round, the dry run had been held in nine centres in the Union Territory, including four in Puducherry, three in Karaikal and one each in Yanam and Mahe region.

The two-stage dry run aimed at evaluating the logistical preparedness, including cold chain networks and plug gaps between intent and implementation. The drive also helps to test the robustness of the CoWIN, a data management platform, set up for the vaccination drive.

A text message is sent out to targeted beneficiaries to report to a designated location with details of the vaccinator and the expected time of immunisation. Once they are given dummy vaccines, a report is generated to the Task Force for review before submission to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

On Thursday, the Health Ministry had held a video conference to assess the preparedness of the Union Territory, ahead of the second dry run.

Chief Minister V Narayanasamy had said recently that the first batch of vials were expected to be made available by the Centre to Puducherry in the next few days. Around 14,000 health workers and frontline staff had been identified to be covered under the first phase of the vaccination programme, once the vials were made available from the Centre. About 13,000 health workers have already signed up for vaccination at the CoWIN portal in Puducherry.

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