The Meghalaya government on Saturday conducted a Covid-19 vaccination dry run in two districts of the State: East Khasi Hills and West Garo Hills.
It may be mentioned that, with the objective of gearing up for the roll out of Covid-19 vaccine across the country, the Central Government has asked all States and Union Territories to ensure effective preparedness for the vaccine roll out.
The dry run was conducted in Ganesh Das MCH Hospital, NEIGRIHMS Hospital, Rynjah State Dispensary, Nazareth Hospital and Holy Cross Hospital in Tura where a total of 129 persons were mobilized for the vaccination rehearsal. The dry run was conducted with a view to introduce and access operational feasibility in the use of Covid-19 vaccine.
The trial starts at each site with a hand-washing station where Vaccination Officer 1 checks and matches the beneficiary to the available registered list of beneficiaries.
After this, the beneficiary is led and seated at the waiting area where Vaccination Officer 2 verifies and authenticates the beneficiary on the CoWIN App (COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network).
From here, the beneficiary will be taken to the vaccination room where a Vaccination Officer will follow the standard operating procedure of vaccination. It is clarified that the vaccine was not administered in the dry run.
This room is equipped to handle Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI) with adrenaline and other drugs available at the station.
After receiving the vaccine, the CoWIN App will be updated and the beneficiary is then led to the observation area where two Vaccination Officers will give Infections and Prevention Control messaging and will support and observe the persons for the next 30 minutes.
They will also be responsible for crowd-management. Here, the beneficiaries will also be given IEC materials on the vaccine and the importance of Covid-19 appropriate behaviour such as maintaining physical distance, wearing a mask and hand washing which are to be reinforced even after vaccination.
If there is a case of AEFI, the beneficiary details will be filled in a form which will automatically be updated on SafeVac. If there are no symptoms, the beneficiary will be allowed to leave but will have to return for the second dose of the vaccine after 28 days or a period as prescribed by the Health Officials based on the type of vaccine approved by the Government.
Every vaccinated person will receive a digital certificate which will be available on the CoWIN App. Automated SMSes will also be sent to beneficiaries to remind them of their next vaccination with the details of allotted time and place.
The dry run was successful with healthcare workers working seamlessly and reassuring the fact that such mock drills can infuse a sense of confidence in them before the actual vaccination drive.