India to conduct COVID-19 vaccine dry run next week - All you need to know
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Over the last month several countries have approved the use of COVID-19 vaccines, even as others end the final leg of testing and preparation. In India, the Central Government is gearing up for the roll-out of the vaccine across the country and a two-days dry run has been planned. Those who will administer the vaccine have already been trained.

What is a dry run?

Detailed training modules have been developed for different categories of vaccine handlers and administrators including medical officers, vaccinators, alternate vaccinators, cold chain handlers, supervisors, data managers, ASHA coordinators and all others involved in the implementation process at different levels, to strengthen the capacity of human resource for vaccine introduction and roll-out.

A dry run is a trial of sorts to test out the operational aspects of training. It will give officials a chance to test out the various aspects that will be involved in the vaccination process - such as the use of Co-WIN IT platform for the management of the entire vaccination process, hte deployment of HR Cold chain preparedness, management of adverse events, biomedical waste management and more. Note that the dry run is not an actual vaccination process - they will be using a dummy vaccine.

Where and when will it happen? Who will be involved?

It will be happening next week. Two-days of dry run has been planned in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat and Punjab on 28 and 29 December 2020. According to reports, the run in Punjab will take place in Ludhiana and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar districts.

As many as, 2,360 participants were trained during national-level training of trainers which comprised state immunisation officers, cold chain officers, IEC officials and development partner. Thousands of other people have also been trained at the state and district levels.

When will Indians get access to a vaccine?

The dry run is the precursor to the release of vaccines for COVID-19. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had said last week that he was hopeful that a potential vaccine would be made available by "any week of January" 2021. The government has already released a plan of action for who would be vaccinated first.

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