The responsibility for conducting the dry run was assigned to district collectors and task forces were formed at the block level

A two-day dry run for activities associated with COVID-19 vaccination was conducted across four states for end-to-end testing of the entire process.

It was carried out by the Union Ministry of Health and Family welfare in Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Punjab on Monday and Tuesday.

"Backed with the experience of rolling out Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) and conducting nationwide multiple wide-range injectable vaccination campaigns such as measles-rubella (MR) and adult Japanese Encephalitis (JE) campaign, required steps are being undertaken to vaccinate priority population groups such as health care workers, frontline workers and people above 50 years for COVID-19," read a statement issued by the ministry.

The aim and objective of the dry run exercise was to ensure "end-to-end testing of the COVID-19 vaccination process" and included planning and preparations as per the operational guidelines. It was also aimed to undertake and confirm field implementation of IT platform Co-WIN and guide way forward prior to actual implementation.

According to the Ministry, the responsibility for conducting the dry run was assigned to district collectors and task forces were formed at the block level. The exercise was meant to provide insights on any gaps or bottle-necks during actual conduct of vaccination.

Krishna district in Andhra Pradesh, Rajkot and Gandhinagar in Gujarat, Ludhiana and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar (Nawanshahr) in Punjab and Sonitpur and Nalbari districts in Assam, witnessed the two-day dry run.

Teams formed by the district administration were tasked with specific activities like uploading of dummy beneficiary data, session site creation, vaccine allocation, communication of vaccination details to vaccinators & beneficiaries, and beneficiary mobilisation were carried out.

“Field feedback on the first day of dun run was also reviewed on December 29, 2020 through Video conferencing with State and District Programme officers by Joint Secretary (Public Health). All states expressed satisfaction in terms of the operational approach and use of IT platform to ensure transparency and effective monitoring of vaccination processes expected to cover a large number of people across the country. Additional suggestions on IT platform were also noted for further enhancement of Co-WIN platform," the Ministry said.

Detailed insights and feedback will help enrich the operational guidelines and IT platform will strengthen the COVID-19 vaccination roll out plan.