New Delhi: The central government has asked all the states and union territories across the country to gear up to run the Covid-19 vaccine campaign effectively. The Union Health Secretary Shri Rajesh Bhushan today reviewed the preparations for the session sites for Covid-19 vaccination through video conferencing while chairing a high-level meeting.
During this time Mr. Bhushan was associated online with the Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Health, NHM MD, and other Health Administrative Officers of the States / Union Territories.
The dry run of the Covid-19 vaccination will be done by the governments of all states and union territories from January 2, 2021 (Saturday). It is proposed to conduct this activity in at least 3 session sites in all state capitals; Some states will also include districts that are located in difficult terrain or that lack resources. The states of Maharashtra and Kerala are scheduled to run this practice session in major cities other than their capital.
The purpose of this epidemic prevention campaign is to become aware of the challenges related to vaccination under the circumstances of that region. At the same time, the strategy made for this is also to overcome the problems facing implementation. This dry run will be of great help in deciding the future strategy based on the practical difficulties faced during the vaccination campaign and will also increase the confidence of the people involved at various levels in its operation.
The complete plan of this vaccination campaign will be in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health on 20 December 2020. For each of the three-session venues, the concerned medical officer-in-charge will identify 25 test beneficiaries (healthcare workers). States / Union Territories have been asked to ensure that the data of these beneficiaries are uploaded in Co-WIN (CO-WIN). These beneficiaries will also be available at the venue for the dry run. Health care workers (HCWs) of the state and union territories will prepare the facilities and user IDs to be provided on the Co-Win application, including uploading the data of beneficiaries.
Along with this, the states and Union Territories have been asked to ensure the adequacy of space, the arrangement of resources, internet connectivity, power, security, etc. in the proposed session sites. Instructions have been given to prepare at least three sessions in each state. Here ensure that the model sites have separate entry and exit in a ‘three-room set-up’ with sufficient space for awareness generation activities; Display all IEC content on these sites; Ensure that all necessary instructions and protocols are followed here, as well as vaccination teams to be identified and trained in all aspects. The dry run will also be equipped with the administration of the state and union territory in the management of vaccine supply, storage and logistics, including cold chain management.
As it is known that the people running vaccination campaigns will play an important role in this process because they have to be trained and prepare people to get vaccinated further. They will have an important role in various states. Approximately 96,000 vaccinators have been trained for this purpose. 2,360 participants have been trained in national training of trainers and more than 57,000 participants have been trained in district level training in 719 districts.
States are using State Helpline 104 (which will be used in addition to 1075) for any vaccine/software-related question. Call center officers have been trained in this and capacity building has been done in all states/union territories. States were encouraged to use the FAQs issued by the Ministry of Health to answer all such questions.
The focus will be on dry runs to manage any potential adverse events after vaccination. In addition, infection control instructions are also being followed and managed at the site to prevent the spread of the disease. Mock drills will also include concurrent monitoring, review and response preparation at the block and district levels. The State Task Force will review the responses with the Union Ministry of Health.
States and Union Territories were asked to increase community engagement ‘mass participation’ by taking all concerned stakeholders into confidence and through innovative strategies.
A detailed list has been prepared by the Union Ministry of Health which has been shared with the States and Union Territories to run this campaign.
The first round of the dry run was held in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Punjab on 28–29 December 2020 in two districts where five-session sites with 25 beneficiaries each were identified. No major problems have been encountered in the implementation of this dry run. All states have expressed confidence in operational guidelines and IT platforms for large-scale program implementation.