Cold room test to manage crowds: the Center’s test before the launch of the Covid-19 vaccine

Eight districts in four states of Punjab, Assam, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat were chosen by the Center to assess the readiness of the mechanism set up for the coronavirus vaccination campaign (Covid-19). The two-day dry run will take place on December 28 and 29, officials said.

“The dry run was conducted to mobilize all elements involved in the vaccination campaign against Covid-19, scheduled for next year, to test the vaccine delivery mechanisms. All elements except the vaccine will be mobilized, “a senior official from the Union’s ministry of health and family welfare said, asking for anonymity.

According to officials, five sites are likely to be established in each of the two boroughs in one state for the purpose of vaccinating beneficiaries. “Two districts each from all of these four states have been identified where this dry run will be conducted simultaneously in these two days,” said another health ministry official, who also declined to be named.

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The health ministry prepared a detailed checklist and shared it with the four states to guide them through the empty race. “The central government is preparing for the launch of the Covid-19 vaccine across the country. As vaccine administrators will play an important role in the immunization process, training of trainers and vaccine administrators has been undertaken in various states, “the ministry said.

Here’s what you need to know about dry running:

1. The exercise will include entering the necessary data into Co-WIN, an online platform for monitoring vaccine delivery, receiving and assigning tests, deploying team members, simulating session sites with test beneficiaries, a report and an evening meeting, according to the Union health ministry.

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2. The health ministry said it will also include cold storage tests and modes of transport for the Covid-19 vaccine, crowd management at session locations with adequate physical spacing.

3. Each state will plan it in two districts and preferably in five different session type settings: district hospital, community health center (CHC) or primary health care center (PHC), urban site, private health facility, and rural care.

4. “This exercise will enable end-to-end mobilization and testing of the Covid-19 vaccination process (except vaccine) and monitor the use of Co-WIN in a field environment, the links between planning mechanisms , implementation and reporting, identifying challenges and guiding the way forward before actual implementation, including improvements that may be required in the expected process, “the health ministry said.

5. Particular attention will be paid to controlling how possible post-immunization adverse events will be treated, as each session location will have a designated health facility connected to it to treat people who may develop any discomfort or discomfort after vaccination. It will also focus on how infection control practices will be followed during vaccination at the session site so that it does not become a ground for disease transmission.

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6. This will also provide practical experience for program managers at various levels. An important focus of the dry run will be on the management of any possible adverse events after immunization (AEFI), as well as on adhering and managing infection control practices at the session site to prevent disease transmission.

7. The training simulation will include simultaneous monitoring and review at the block and district level and preparing feedback to share with the state and the Center.

8. Specific training modules have been developed for medical officers, vaccinators, alternative vaccinators, cold chain operators, supervisors, data managers, ASHA coordinators and all others involved in the implementation process at different levels.

9. The training includes all operational aspects such as the organization of vaccination sessions, the use of the Co-WIN IT platform for managing the entire vaccination process, the deployment of human resources cold chain preparation, adverse event management, intersectoral communication and coordination, biomedical waste management, infection prevention protocols among others.

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10. A total of 2,360 participants were trained during a nationwide training of trainers, which included state immunization officials, cold chain officials, information, education and communication officials, and development partners. The training was completed in all states and territories of the Union with the participation of over 7,000 trainees at the district level, with the exception of Lakshadweep who will conduct it on 29 December. In addition, 681 districts have completed training medical officers on operational guidelines, the ministry said.

11. To facilitate the resolution of questions about Covid-19 vaccination and the Co-WIN portal, the national and state telephone support capacity was also strengthened. The National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration of Covid-19 (NEGVAC) has recommended three priority population groups including, health care workers, frontline workers, and priority age group.

(With agency input)