Delhi, January 2 – The Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan visited two mock vaccination sites in Delhi to review the dry-run drill for administering the COVID19 vaccines.
Ahead of the actual vaccination drive, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Saturday conducted a nationwide mock drill at 285 session sites to test the end-to-end planned operations and the mechanism that has been set up to ensure smooth conduct of the COVID19 vaccination that is expected to begin soon.
This dry-run of the vaccination drive spread across 125 districts is covering all States/UTs having adequate representation of urban and rural districts along with hard-to-reach areas.
Expressing his satisfaction at the preparations, Dr Harsh Vardhan said, “The entire exercise of the vaccination process is being systematically taken forward, including training of personnel for administering the vaccine. Detailed guidelines have been issued to multiple stakeholders after extensive deliberations, paying attention to each and every minute aspect.”
The Union Minister appreciated the tireless efforts being made by multiple stakeholders including the central and state government officials who have worked proactively in the last few months to ensure the success of this humongous operation.
Dr Harsh Vardhan said that the digital platform, Co-WIN, repurposed from the e-VIN platform is the real game changer, and will provide real time information of vaccine stocks, their storage temperature and individualized tracking of beneficiaries of the COVID-19 vaccine. This unique platform will assist the program managers across all levels through automated session allocation for pre-registered beneficiaries, their verification and for generating a digital certificate upon successful completion of the vaccine schedule. More than 75 lakh beneficiaries have been registered on Co-WIN platform till date, he said.
Speaking on the preparedness for ensuring that the vaccine reaches even the remotest corner of the country, Dr Vardhan said that the country’s cold chain infrastructure has been sufficiently upgraded to ensure last mile delivery. Adequate supplies of syringes and other logistics have also been provided for.
Dr Harsh Vardhan warned the citizens against falling prey to rumours and disinformation campaigns regarding the safety and efficacy of the COVID19 vaccine. He rubbished the rumours being propagated on social media which are raising doubts in the mind of the public regarding the vaccine side-effects. He urged the media to exercise caution and to behave responsibly and check all facts before publishing or broadcasting any reports.
Dispelling doubts regarding the country’s capability to undertake such a massive vaccination drive, Dr Harsh Vardhan described how India has unparalleled experience in dealing with immunization and runs one of the largest immunization programs in the world. He noted that India has been applauded by the world for its robust Universal Immunization Programs. He said India has conducted several successful immunization drives with respect to Polio, Rubella and Measles.
The Minister said that the entire operational planning and IT platform has been field tested in four states on 28 and 29 December 2020; and on the basis of feedback received, certain enhancements have been made in the system. All the State and District officials have been thoroughly trained for conducting this dry-run that is aimed at testing the laid-out mechanisms for COVID-19 vaccine roll-out. This dry-run will end with review meetings at district and state level to discuss the issues and challenges encountered during the exercise. States/UTs have been requested to share the feedback with MoHFW which will be analyzed for ironing out any glitches in the final execution and further refinement of the operational procedures.