Covid vax dry run underway at 46 centres in Telugu states

A dry run of Covid-19 vaccination was underway Saturday at 46 centres in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana as part of nationwide assessment of preparedness of health authorities to implement the programme when the vaccine is made available.

The trial run was being conducted at 39 centres in Andhra Pradesh and seven centres in Telangana. Officials said the process was underway in a smooth manner.

In Andhra Pradesh, where the first phase of dry run was conducted at five centres in Krishna district on December 28, the process was conducted at three centres in each of the 13 districts on Saturday.

Dummy beneficiaries lined up at four designated centres in Hyderabad and at three centres in Mahabubnagar district at 9 a.m. to receive the vaccine.

Except the actual vaccine, the health personnel at the centres followed all guidelines under the vaccine protocol.

The dry run is aimed at testing the planned operations and the laid out mechanisms for Covid-19 vaccination in the state. It will provide insights on any gaps or bottlenecks so that those could be addressed before the commencement of the actual vaccination drive, officials said.

In Hyderabad, the dry run was conducted at Urban Primary Health Centre at Tilaknagar, Area Hospital at Nampally, Gandhi Hospital and Yashoda Hospital at Somajiguda.

In Mahbubnagar district, the identified centres are Primary Health Centre at Janampet, Government General Hospital at Mahbubnagar and Neha Sunshine Hospital at Mahbubnagar.

Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan visited Urban Primary Health Centre at Tilaknagar in Hyderabad to see the dry run. She interacted with the health officials deployed at the centre. They explained to her various stages of the process.

Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had asked the state to choose the centres in the state capital and a relatively inaccessible terrain in the state to hold the trial run to strengthen the system ahead of the actual rollout.

Identified beneficiaries participated in the dry run at each session site where the process was conducted with all Covid appropriate behaviour measures.

For each centre, 25 test beneficiaries, mostly employees of health department, were identified for the dry run. They were sent dummy SMSes on Friday night informing them about the time and place of Covid vaccination.

Sanitation was done and physical distancing was maintained at all sites. When the intended benificiaries reported at the sites, they were subjected to temperature check and guided to waiting room.

Vaccinating officers checked the names of the beneficiaries in the list and uploaded their details like name, age and Aadhaar number Co-WIN (Covid Vaccine Intelligence Network) application. Another vaccination officer gave the dummy vaccine and uploaded the information in the Co-WIN app.

The beneficiaries were made to wait for 30 minutes following vaccination to observe their condition. Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI) treatment facility was also set up at each centre with 10 beds e by appointing a general medicine doctor as the in-charge.

At each centre, AEFI kits with emergency medicines were also arranged to administer medication in case of complications

Telangana’s Director of Public Health G. Srinivasa Rao said it was merely a demonstration to test the preparedness.

The process also assessed the logistics involved in shifting vaccines from storage points to vaccination centres and the health workers were briefed about the temperatures at which the vaccines were to be stored.

Health department officials expect Covid-19 vaccination to begin this month. They said the department was ready to roll out the vaccine within 24-48 hours of the Centre giving the approval and providing the required doses.

Telangana health minister Eatala Rajender stated that 10,000 health workers will be deployed for vaccination. He said the state has the capacity to administer vaccine to about 10 lakh people every day.