Meghalaya conducts successful Dry Run for COVID-19 vaccination

Shillong: A total of 129 persons in Meghalaya took part in the dry run conducted on Saturday for the soon to be rolled out COVID-19 vaccination drive.

The dry run took place at five institutions: Ganesh Das MCH Hospital, NEIGRIHMS Hospital, Rynjah State Dispensary, Nazareth Hospital and Holy Cross Hospital.

Principal Secretary, Department of Health & Family Welfare, Sampath Kumar visited NEIGRIHMS and Ganesh Das MCH Hospital, where healthcare workers gave a step-by-step overview of the process.

State health officials and a WHO representative were present to oversee operations.

The dry run 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 goes to the vaccination room, where another vaccination officer follows the standard operating procedure of vaccination. Since this was a dry run, no vaccine was administered.

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The vaccination room can 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. The beneficiary will then visit the observation area where two vaccination officers will give infections and prevention control messaging, and support and observe the persons for the next 30 minutes. They will also be responsible for crowd management.

Here, the beneficiaries will also get IEC materials on the vaccine and the importance of COVID-19 appropriate behaviour such as maintaining physical distance, wearing a mask, and handwashing.

If there is a case of AEFI, beneficiary details on SafeVac would be updated. If there are no symptoms, the beneficiary will be allowed to leave. They should 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 would be sent to beneficiaries to remind them of their next vaccination with the details of allotted time and place.

The dry run was hugely successful with healthcare workers working seamlessly, and reassuring that such mock drills can infuse a sense of confidence in them before the actual vaccination drive.

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