GUWAHATI, Dec 26 - Assam�s Sonitpur and Nalbari districts will be among eight districts in the country which will conduct a dry run for COVID-19 vaccination on December 28 and 29.
Two districts each in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Punjab will also be part of the exercise being planned to test the preparedness of the system to carry out the mammoth task of innoculating 30 crore people in the shortest possible time.
Sonitpur and Nalbari districts were selected for the dry run considering the infrastructure and manpower readily available to cover different settings � medical college, district hospital, private health institution, urban and rural outreach.
In Sonitpur district, the five sites will include Tezpur Medical College and Hospital, Dekiajuli CHC, Tezpur Urban Health Centre, Times Hospital (private health institution) and No.2 Rongaghora HWC under Dekiajuli BPHC.
In Nalbari district, the five sites will include Nalbari District Civil Hospital, Ghograpar Block PHC, Sarathi Hospital (private health institution), Nalbari Urban Health Centre and Balitara Mini PHC.
�It will be a mock drill. The entire mechanism will be activated � from transporting the vaccine from the vaccine store to uploading of the data in the Co-WIN portal after vaccination. In each of the five centres of a district, there will be five test beneficiaries,� a Health department official said.
This exercise has been planned to enable end-to-end mobilisation and testing of COVID-19 vaccination process (except the vaccine) and check the usage of Co-WIN portal in field environment.
Moreover, it will assess the linkages between planning, implementation and reporting mechanisms and identify challenges and guide the way forward prior to actual implementation, including improvements that may be required in the envisaged process. The two-day programme will include activities from the necessary data entries in Co-WIN to vaccine receipt and allocation to deployment of team members, mock drill of session sites with test beneficiaries to reporting and evening meeting. This will also include testing for cold storage and transportation arrangements for COVID-19 vaccine, management of crowd at the session sites with proper physical distancing.
An important focus of the dry run will be on management of any possible adverse event following immunisation (AEFI).
The National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration of COVID-19 (NEGVAC) has recommended three prioritised population groups � healthcare workers (HCWs), numbering about 1 crore, frontline workers (FLWs), numbering about 2 crore, and prioritised age group, numbering about 27 crore.
As vaccines are temperature sensitive and need to be stored in specific temperature, the present cold chain system consisting of 85,634 equipment for storage of vaccines at about 28,947 cold chain points across the country will be used for the cold chain administration. The current cold chain is capable of storing additional quantity of COVID-19 vaccine required for the first 3 crore prioritised population � healthcare workers and frontline workers.
Around 60 lakh people will be administered the vaccine in the first phase in Assam.