Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Saturday kicked off the dry run exercise for the much-anticipated coronavirus vaccination programme likely to be launched in the country soon.
The full-fledged dry runs shall be carried out at multiple locations in Jalna, Nandurbar, Nagpur and Pune after the health workers underwent intensive training for the purpose last month.
Tope said that through the dry runs, all efforts are being taken to ensure that the actual vaccination programme, whenever it is launched, shall pass of smoothly and with full safety protocols.
“People must keep in mind that getting vaccinated does not mean they are immune to the coronavirus and they can discard Covid protocols. They will still have to adhere to face masks, sanitising, cleanliness, physical distancing norms etc, as usual,” Tope asserted. This is more so because the virus has already mutated and can come in new strains, experts fear.
On the issue of whether the people will get the Covax free or shall be charged for it, the minister said that will be decided by the Centre and the state is acting as “the implementation agency” for the entire drive.
Tope went around one health centre here and inspected the dry run preparedness in the presence of doctors, nurses, dummy patients, the identification process, the main vaccination room, post-jab the fully-equipped waiting room to check for any reactions or side-effects, etc. along with attendants to handle any situation.
Maharashtra is presently having the highest number of Covid-19 deaths and cases, with Pune emerging as the country’s worst hotspot.