Dry run for COVID-19 vaccination begins in Guwahati


GUWAHATI: Along with other parts of the country, a dry run to check the best way to vaccinate people against COVID-19 and plug loopholes in logistics and training has  also started in Guwahati on Saturday. Dry run for COVID19 vaccination administration is being conducted at Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) of the city.

This massive drive in all the states across the country will also test the operational feasibility in the use of CoWIN application in a field environment. Short for COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network, CoWIN is a digital platform to roll out and scale up the vaccination drive.

The massive exercise comes a day after a panel of government-appointed experts recommended approval for the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine, manufactured by Serum Institute of India, to the regulator Drugs Control Authority of India.

Today’s exercise is the second dry run being conducted in the country – the first was on December 28 and 29 in Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and Gujarat.

Across India, the dry run is being conducted in in 116 districts across 259 sites. Some 96,000 vaccinators have been trained for this, the Health Ministry had said. Of these, 2,360 participants have been trained in the National Training of Trainers and over 57,000 with district-level training in 719 districts. 

The process, in which 25 health workers will receive dummy vaccines at each spot, is meant to test the mechanisms and reveal possible gaps in the system ahead of the actual vaccination drive.

“An important focus of the dry run will be on management of any possible adverse events following immunization,” the Health Ministry said in a statement.

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has asked officials in all states to ensure that the vaccination sites and those in charge follow the checklist and standard operating procedure prepared by the Health Ministry and shared with all the states and Union Territories to guide them in the dry run.

“During this entire drive, we have done massive preparations… just like we do during elections,” the Health Minister said, explaining the scale of dry run.