Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan held a meeting on Friday to review preparedness ahead of the countrywide dry run for coronavirus vaccination on January 2. The health ministry, in a release said that the officials informed Vardhan about the improvements that have been incorporated for the smooth functioning of the dry run on Saturday.
“The list of health workers have been created and will be uploaded on the COWIN platform,” Vardhan said, according to ANI. “We need to train each member of all medical teams responsibly, just like we prepare during elections. The target of this exercise is that minutest details are thoroughly researched.”
The minister also asked officials to ensure that vaccination sites abide by the detailed checklist and standard operating procedure for vaccination, which has been prepared by the health ministry.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had announced the dry run on Thursday, and said that the exercise will be carried out in at least three sites in all state capitals. Some states will also include districts with difficult terrain or poor logistical support. Earlier on December 28 and 29, a vaccine dry run was conducted in the four states of Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and Gujarat. The exercise included all steps involved in the vaccination process, except for administering the shot.
Meanwhile, on Friday, a meeting of the Subject Expert Committee under the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation was underway to review applications for emergency-use approval of vaccines developed by three companies – Pfizer, Serum Institute of India, which will manufacture the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, reported NDTV. This committee had met on Wednesday too.
Significantly, on Thursday, Drugs Controller General Dr VG Somani had said that India was likely to get a vaccine very soon. “Probably we will have a new year with something in hand,” he had said in a webinar. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also said on Thursday that the preparations for vaccination were in the final stage.
India reported 20,036 new coronavirus cases on Friday, taking the tally up to 1,02,86,710.