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Covid vaccine dry run today

Darj, Siliguri, Naxalbari hospitals ready, Exercise in B’ghat, Hili G’rampur in S Dinajpur

SANKHA GHOSH and SRIKANTA THAKUR | Siliguri/Balurghat |

Darjeeling district will conduct the dry run for Covid-19 vaccination at three health facilities tomorrow, before the actual rollout of the vaccine.

Health department officials today said it was important to check the preparedness to ensure a smooth vaccination drive. According to them, the exercise that will begin at 9 am and end at 4 pm, will provide insights into gaps or bottlenecks so that those could be addressed before the launching of the actual drive. The district has recorded around 18,000 Covid-19 cases and more than 200 deaths so far.

“A dry run is aimed at testing the infrastructure readiness and the outlined mechanisms for Covid-19 vaccination. We will carry out the dry run at three hospitals–Siliguri District Hospital, Naxalbari Rural Hospital and Darjeeling District Hospital–tomorrow. There will be 25 medical personnel as candidates for each vaccination centre,” said the district chief medical officer of health, Dr Pralay Acharya.

Healthcare workers, including doctors, nurses, and Group- D staff of the hospitals will be among the candidates tomorrow. They will be among the 16,500 healthcare workers, including Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA), and anganwadi workers, listed in the district to get the first round of Covid-19 vaccine shots. Dr Acharya met health department officials for the same today.

Apart from the 75 health workers, there will be four vaccination officers, one vaccinating officer and a team of doctors and others support staff at each hospital. The first vaccination officer will first check the list, the text messages of the recipients to confirm whether they were asked to come for vaccination. In the next step, the second officer will also check the same list, the text message and the photo identity cards.

“After the examination of the documents, the vaccinating officer will administer the vaccine to the persons in the vaccination room. The officer will examine the blood pressure, pulse rate of the persons if necessary. If some of them appear to be unfit, the officer will consult the medical team. A team of doctors will be deputed there. But after administering the vaccine, the third vaccination officer will observe him/her for 30 minutes at the observation room to see if there is any adverse reaction after taking the vaccine. The officer will explain the person about adhering to Covid-19 protocol and give out other advices. The fourth officer will check whether the person is able to leave, following the vaccination,” a senior officer said.

Police will be deputed to man entrances to the centres.

During the actual drive, there will be arrangements for ambulances and rapid action teams to take care for emergencies at each vaccination centre. There will be a gap of 28 days between the first and the second doses of the vaccine.

The details of a beneficiary (here dummy beneficiary) data will be uploaded on the Covid-19 Vaccine Intelligence Network (Co-Win) application, which has been developed for the vaccination drive across the country, in real time, the officials said.

Health staff of different hospitals and health centres in the district will witness the proceedings so that they get conversant with the process.

Meanwhile, the officials said that the district had the capacity to store adequate Covid-19 vaccines in 29 cold chain points. Some new walking- coolers have been installed at storage centres according to requirement.

Exercise in B’ghat, Hili G’rampur in S Dinajpur

In a bid to understand complications that may come up during the Covid-19 vaccination among the people, the district administration in South Dinajpur is all set to conducted a vaccine dry run in three places in the district tomorrow. Dry run camps will be held at the Hili rural hospital, Balurghat hospital and Gangarampur hospital. District officials yesterday visited the cold stores and reviewed the preparations of the health department.

District Magistrate Nikhil Nirmal, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr Sukumar Dey and other officials visited the district cold store to review preparations for vaccine storage and supply.

The health department has also arranged for an air conditioned van, which will transport a large number of vaccine doses from Kolkata. A walk-in cooler and one big genarator that would supply uninterrupted power supply to the cooler is, however, yet to arrive, health department sources said. “The dry run is just like a mock drill conducted by the Army. It will be a process that will help the government assess how ready we are for the Covid-19 vaccine at the district level. It also highlights any shortcomings in the mechanism laid out for the vaccine drive so that we can address them before time and avoid problems during the actual immunization process,” one senior health official in the district said.

According to Mr Nirmal, they have initially prepared a list of 18,000 people, who are frontline warriors in the fight against the coronavirus. “More than 500 trained vaccinators have already been enlisted for the camp. The preparations are complete,” the DM said.

CMOH, Dr Dey, said, “We need the walk-in cooler and power generator to strengthen our infrastructure. We have already chalked out a detailed plan.”