Free Vaccine for 3 Cr Workers in Phase 1: Health Min After Dry Run

The dry run comes a day after reports said that an expert panel has given a conditional nod to the Oxford vaccine.

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India
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The dry run comes a day after reports said that an expert panel has given a conditional nod to the Oxford vaccine.
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A dry run for COVID-19 vaccine administration is being conducted in all states and Union Territories on Saturday, 2 January. According to the Health Ministry, the dry run is being carried out across 259 sites in 116 districts.

Overseeing the exercise in Delhi, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Saturday visited the GTB Hospital. In a tweet, he said that in the first phase, free vaccines will be provided across the country to the "most-prioritised beneficiaries that include one crore healthcare and 2 crore frontline workers."

"Details of how further 27 crore priority beneficiaries are to be vaccinated until July are being finalised," he added.

Speaking to the media, Vardhan had said, "I appeal to people not to pay heed to rumours. Ensuring the safety and efficacy of vaccine is our priority. Different kinds of rumours were spread during polio immunisation, but people took the vaccine and India is now polio-free."

“Feedbacks received after the dry run in four states were included in guidelines for vaccination and today’s dry run in all states/UTs is being conducted as per new guidelines. Except for giving the actual vaccine, every procedure is being followed during the drill.”
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, as quoted by ANI
Free Vaccine for 3 Cr Workers in Phase 1: Health Min After Dry Run
(Photo: Accessed by The Quint)

Dry Run Conducted in 4 States Earlier

The objectives of the dry run are to "assess operational feasibility in the use of Co-WIN (COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network) application in field environment, test the linkages between planning and implementation, and identify the challenges and guide the way forward prior to actual implementation," the government had stated.

The activity is also focusing on areas with difficult terrain and regions with poor logistical support.

Earlier on 28 and 29 December, a dry run was conducted in the states of Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and Gujarat, with all the partaking states expressing satisfaction regarding the operational approach and the aid of IT platforms to ensure transparency and monitoring of inoculation processes.

According to the Health Ministry, one of the important aspects that is being considered in the dry run is the "management of any possible adverse events following immunisation."

‘Delhi Govt Has Made Preparations to Vaccinate 1 Lakh People in a Day’

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain also oversaw the dry run exercise in the national capital.

Jain said that the vaccine will be given to people in the national capital for free, and that the Delhi government has so far made preparations to vaccinate 1 lakh people in a day, reported PTI.

"COVID vaccination centres will be linked to hospitals... people will be kept under 30-minute observation after getting a dose," he was quoted as saying.

In Kerala, where the dry run is being conducted in four districts, Health Minister KK Shailaja reviewed the exercise at the Government Hospital, Peroorkada, in Thiruvananthapuram.

According to the government, as many as 96,000 vaccinators have been trained for the eventual administering of the vaccine across states.

Free Vaccine for 3 Cr Workers in Phase 1: Health Min After Dry Run
(Photo: Accessed by The Quint)
Free Vaccine for 3 Cr Workers in Phase 1: Health Min After Dry Run
(Photo: Accessed by The Quint)

Oxford Vaccine Gets Expert Panel ‘Nod’, Final Call by DCGI

The dry run comes a day after several reports indicated that an expert panel has given a conditional nod to Oxford-AstraZeneca's vaccine, being manufactured in India by the Serum Institute of India (SII). The recommendation now goes to the regulator Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), which will give the final approval.

If this happens, it will be the first novel coronavirus vaccine to get emergency use approval in India. India will also become the second country to approve the Oxford vaccine after UK.

The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) in the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) met on the Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) requests of coronavirus vaccines by SII and Bharat Biotech on Friday.

According to reports, Bharat Biotech was asked to speed up recruitment for its phase 3 clinical trials.

(With inputs from PTI and ANI.)

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