New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Centre on Friday said that it is gearing up to roll-out a COVID-19 vaccine in the country and will conduct a two-day dry run in four states on December 28 and 29 to check their preparedness.

In a statement, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said that the dry run will be conducted in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat and Punjab, adding that it has already trained participants who will administer the vaccine.

"The training includes all operational aspects of training as the organisation of vaccination sessions, use of Co-WIN IT platform for the management of the entire vaccination process, deployment of HR Cold chain preparedness, management of adverse events, communications and intersectoral coordination, biomedical waste management, infection prevention protocols, etc.," the Union Health Ministry said in a statement.

"Cascading down, 681 districts (49,604 trainees) have completed the training of medical officers on operational guidelines. Vaccination team training has been completed in 1,399 out of 17,831 blocks/planning units. It is ongoing in the other blocks," it said.

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The Health Ministry said that the dry run, which will be conducted in two districts of each of the four states, will enable end-to-end mobilisation and testing of the COVID-19 vaccination process.

It also said that the dry run will also provide a hands-on experience to programme managers at various levels and will include activities for data entries in Co-WIN.

As per the Health Ministry, the activities will testing for cold storage and transportation arrangements for the COVID19 vaccine and crowd management at the session sites with proper physical distancing.

Last week, Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan had said that India may start vaccinating people against the deadly COVID-19 infection in January.

While speaking to news agency ANI, Vardhan had said that "safety and effectiveness" of vaccine is Centre's "first priority" and said that there are certain issues that need to be resolved before its rollout.

"India is not less than any country when it comes to COVID-19 vaccine and research. Our first priority has been the safety and efficacy of the vaccine. We do not want any comprise on that. Our regulators are analysing them with seriousness," he had said.

Currently, there are six COVID-19 vaccine candidates in different clinical trial stages in India including Covishield, Covaxin, ZyCoV-D, Sputnik V, NVX-CoV2373 and recombinant protein antigen-based vaccine. Out of the six COVID-19 vaccine candidates, three are in the pre-clinical stage.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma