A second dry run for COVID-19 vaccination will be held in all the states on Friday, sources have said. The first massive dry run was held on January 2. The exercise checked the best way to vaccinate people against COVID-19 and plug loopholes in logistics and training.
The day-long drive on Friday will again test the operational feasibility of CoWIN application in a field environment. Short for Covid Vaccine Intelligence Network, CoWIN is a digital platform to roll out and scale up the vaccination drive.
The government has said vaccination for COVID-19 would start within 10 days from the day when vaccine-makers were given emergency use authorisation. India has cleared Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield manufactured by the Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.
The government has been preparing for the vaccine rollout for the last four months, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said last week when the dry run was held.
During the dry run, over 20 health workers get dummy vaccines at each site, which is meant to test the mechanisms and reveal possible gaps in the system ahead of the actual vaccination drive.
Aadhaar authentication and SMS confirming vaccination in at least 12 languages are some of the features of the CoWIN app that India is developing to inoculate millions of people against COVID-19.
The government has prioritised groups who will get the vaccine first, including doctors, healthcare workers, police and others engaged directly in fighting the pandemic.
All the anti-coronavirus vaccines developed in India can be stored at 2-8 degree Celsius as the logistics have been worked out considering temperature as a factor, Department of Biotechnology Secretary Renu Swarup said on Tuesday.
Apart from Covishield and Covaxin, a DNA vaccine candidate being developed by Zydus Cadila and Biological E’s mRNA vaccine also work at storage temperature of 2-8 degree Celsius.
The Zydus Cadila candidate has been granted approval to conduct phase 3 trial while Biological E candidate is in phase 1 clinical trial stage.