A two-day dry run had also been held earlier to test the entire operational planning and IT platform for the vaccination process

A nationwide mock drill was conducted at 285 session sites across 125 districts across the country on Saturday to test the end-to-end planned operations and the mechanism set up to ensure smooth Covid-19 vaccination, a process that is expected to begin soon.

The sites chosen for the dry run had adequate representation of urban and rural districts along with hard-to-reach areas, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said after the exercise ended smoothly.

According to an official statement, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan visited two mock vaccination sites in Delhi to review the dry run drill for administering the Covid-19 vaccine. He first visited the GTB Hospital in Shahdara, east Delhi, and later an Urban Primary Health Centre (UPHC) in Daryaganj, central Delhi.

Expressing his satisfaction at the preparations at the GTB Hospital, 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.”

Dispelling doubts regarding the country’s capability to undertake such a massive vaccination drive, Vardhan described how India has unparalleled experience in dealing with immunisation. He also pointed out that the country’s cold chain infrastructure has been sufficiently upgraded to ensure last-mile delivery.

Narrating his personal experience from the early nineties, he talked of how millions of Indians were galvanized for the eradication of Polio from the country.

“It is as a result of our steadfastness and dedication, that India was declared polio-free in 2014. Our rich learning from the earlier immunisation drives including the Polio vaccination campaign is being used to guide our present countrywide COVID19 vaccination campaign”, he stated.

Highlighting the operational details, the Minister said that the entire operational planning and IT platform had been field tested in four states on December 28-29 2020. On the basis of feedback received, certain enhancements have been made in the system. All the state & district officials had been thoroughly trained for conducting this dry-run that is aimed at testing the laid-out mechanisms for COVID-19 vaccine roll-out.

Addressing various rumours about the Covid 19 vaccine, Vardhan warned the citizens against falling prey to rumours and disinformation campaigns. Rubbishing rumours being propagated on social media, he urged the media to exercise caution and to behave responsibly and check all facts before publishing or broadcasting any reports.