COVID Vaccine: What Happens in A Dry Run? Will Real Shot Be Used?

Will actual vaccines be used in the dry run? Here’s everything you need to know.

2 min read

Video Producer: Shohini Bose

Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam

As India gears up for the coronavirus vaccination drive, a dry run for the same will be conducted across the country from Saturday, 2 January.

Earlier, a two-day dry run was conduced in Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat and Assam – and a report was submitted by the states to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

So, what exactly happens in a dry run? How is it conducted? Here’s what we know so far.


What is a dry run?

A dry run is like a rehearsal. It is to test the mechanism laid out for the COVID-19 vaccination, assess the gaps in the process and address them before the actual drive – likely to begin early next year.

In which states will dry run be held?

All state capitals will conduct dry runs in at least three session sites on Saturday and some will also include districts that are situated in difficult terrain or have poor logistical support, Union Minister Harsh Vardhan said in a press conference on 1 January.

So, will actual vaccines be used in the dry run?

No, the dry run process will include all the steps except for the vaccination part, the minister confirmed.

Then, what will the dry run include?

The mock drill will include:

  • Registration of the beneficiary on Co-Win, the platform that will facilitate vaccination
  • Testing the allocation of vaccination site
  • Process to be followed at the site of vaccination
  • Testing cold storage and transportation arrangements

What happens at the vaccination site during dry run?

  • The government SOP, released earlier this month, explains that a vaccination team will have five members – the main officer helped by four others. The main officer could be a doctor, nurse, pharmacist or anyone legally qualified to give an injection.
  • The second officer will be in charge of security and will guard the entry point at the vaccination session, while the third will be present to verify documents.
  • The fourth and fifth officers will be responsible for crowd management and communication.
  • This entire process at the vaccination site will be put to test during the dry run.

Who are the beneficiaries?

The beneficiaries are pre-determined by the district/state authorities running the drive. They will have to register on Co-Win portal and carry photo identification.

Where will the dry run take place?

Each state will plan the dry run in two districts at different sites such as a district hospital, urban hospital, private health facility and a rural hospital.

What happens after the dry run?

After the dry run, state governments will prepare a report with feedback and suggestions. This will be submitted to the Centre for further deliberation and action.

(With inputs from PTI)

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