WORLD Indian government gears up for COVID-19 vaccine rollout


Indian government gears up for COVID-19 vaccine rollout


17:13, December 25, 2020

A ground staff walks past a container kept at the Cargo Terminal 2 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport, which according to the officials will be used as a COVID-19 vaccine handling and distribution center, during the media preview in New Delhi, India December 22, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

NEW DELHI - Indian government is gearing up for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout nationwide with a dry run for vaccine administration scheduled for next week in four states, officials said Friday.

The four states are Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, and Punjab.

"As the vaccine administrators will play an important role in the vaccination process, training of trainers and those who shall administer the vaccine has been taken up across various states," the federal health ministry said in a statement.

The government has prepared detailed training modules for different categories of vaccine handlers and administrators including medical officers, vaccinators, cold chain handlers, supervisors, and data managers.

Officials said that to assess the readiness of the planned activities, a dry run is slated for Dec. 28 and 29, in the cited four states.

"Each state will plan it in two districts and preferably in different (five) session type settings e.g. district hospital, Community Health Center/Primary Health Center, urban site, private health facility, rural outreach etc," the statement said.

"This will also include testing for cold storage and transportation arrangements for COVID-19 vaccine, management of crowd at the session sites with proper physical distancing," it added.

Meanwhile, the national expert group on vaccine administration of COVID-19 has recommended three prioritized population groups including healthcare workers (about 10 million), frontline workers (about 20 million) and prioritized age group (about 270 million) for inoculation in the first phase.

Federal Health Minister Harsh Vardhan recently said COVID-19 vaccine may be available in the country during January next year.

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