Meghalaya conducts COVID-19 vaccine dry run

Shillong, Jan 2: Meghalaya today conducted a dry run for administering the soon to be rolled out COVID-19 vaccination drive.

The dry run was conducted in East Khasi Hills and West Garo Hills districts of Meghalaya where a total of 129 persons were mobilised.

In East Khasi Hills, the dry run was conducted at Ganesh Das MCH Hospital, NEIGRIHMS Hospital, Rynjah State Dispensary, Nazareth Hospital and in West Garo Hills it was conducted in Holy Cross Hospital.

The dry run started at each site with a hand-washing station where Vaccination Officer 1 will check and match 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 will verify and authenticate 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 should be 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 behavior 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 hugely 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.

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

State Health Officials, Dr. H. Giri and Dr. Manners were both present to oversee operations along with Dr. Bhattacharya, Director, NEIGRIHMS and Dr. Roy, WHO representative.

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