Covid-19 vaccination dry run a learning experience: Tamil Nadu govt

Tamil Nadu on Saturday conducted a dry run at 17 centres for the rollout of Covid-19 vaccination that showed successful working of the processes involved and it was a learning experience as well, a top state health official said here on Saturday.

The exercise showed that all preparations were in ‘ready’ mode for the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine in the state, Tamil Nadu Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said, adding that overall, the processes worked successfully.

The dry run was held at three centres each in the districts of Chennai, Tiruvallur, Nilgiris, Tirunelveli and five in Coimbatore.

“An initial learning was that the room earmarked for vaccination should be more spacious,” the secretary told reporters, adding officials from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) also witnessed the drive.

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Quoting initial inputs, he said the dry run, involving about 2,000 personnel and 510 participants, showed overall satisfactory results, adding that the focus of the exercise was preparation and planning for the proposed roll out of the vaccination.

The mobile application and other processes, including identification of beneficiaries worked well and aspects like internet connectivity in hilly regions were also studied and all of these observations would be sent to the Centre,he said.

After perusing all reports related to the dry run, if needed, changes would be suggested by Tamil Nadu to the Centre in the pattern of processes and its working, he said.

The objective of the exercise was preparatory in nature, where the working of various processes involved for successful hassle free vaccination was tested.

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The overall management scenario of vaccination,right from bringing vaccines to inoculation centres from cold chain amenities and verifying beneficiaries in a mobile application following initial identification were among aspects studied.

Availability of requisite drugs and presence of a doctor in an observation room to monitor people who received the vaccine shots for unlikely reactions or adverse events was also evaluated, the top official said.

About 100 people could be vaccinated in a day in a given centre with all amenities, including separate entry and exit points and this feature was also evaluated.

The beneficiaries also received SMS on their phones informing them of ‘successful’ (dummy message during practice session) vaccination, he said.

As many as six lakh health personnel have already registered for the vaccination and other frontline workers were set to register themselves, followed by the elderly and those with co-morbidities, he said.

In Chennai and other districts,teams have been set at the level of zones and unions respectively and 45,200 sites for providing vaccination and 51 walk-in coolers, 2,800 secondary cold storage points with capacity to store 2.5 crore ampules are ready , he said.

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