New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Union Health Ministry conducted another round of COVID-19 vaccination dry run across the country on Friday to assess to readiness to launch world's largest inoculation against the novel pathogen.

This is the third such activity which was conducted by the Health Ministry. The first mock drill for COVID-19 vaccination was conducted in eight districts of four states on December 28 and 29 while first such nationwide activity was held on January 2.

Ahead of the second nationwide dry run, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan held a meeting with representatives of all states and union territories (UTs) to assess the preparation for the mock drill which will be held at three-session sites of 736 districts across the country.

Also Read -- COVID-19 Vaccine: Prices set, people identified as India set to begin inoculation drive by next week | All you need to know

During the meeting, Vardhan asked the state authorities to be prepared and stop the misinformation campaign. He also assured that India has sufficient cold chain infrastructure for vaccine storage and ensure last-mile delivery.

"India has unparalleled experience in dealing with immunisation and runs one of the largest universal immunisation programs in the world which has been applauded by the world for its robustness," he stressed.

What is a dry run?

A dry run is a mock drill that will be conducted to assess the mechanism for roll out of a COVID-19 vaccine across the country. Through a mock drill, the Health Ministry aims to simulate the actual vaccine administration event and find out glitches in the final execution.

How the third dry run will be different?

The Health Minister has informed that the Centre has collected the data from previous dry runs from states and UTs and said that the "lessons learnt from the earlier exercise will be made use to execute another" mock drill.

"Whatever was lacking earlier has been rectified and will be tested in Friday's dry run," he said.

Also Read -- Covishield vs Covaxin: From efficacy to cost, a look at how India's 2 COVID-19 vaccines compare with each other

"All participating districts will identify three types of sessions for the mock drive: district hospital, medical college/ private health facility, urban/ rural outreach. Following this, beneficiary registration, micro-planning and vaccination will take place. Then, site organisers will have to hold review meetings after the session to gather feedback," he added.

Status of coronavirus vaccines in India:

The Centre has approved two COVID-19 vaccines -- Bharat Biotech's 'Covaxin' and Oxford-AstraZeneca's 'Covishield' -- for emergency use authorisation in India.

The Health Ministry has also informed that transportation of coronavirus vaccines will begin from Friday, noting that Pune will be the central hub for vaccine distribution.

"For northern India, Delhi and Karnal will be made mini hubs. For the eastern region, Kolkata will be the hub, it will also be a nodal point for the northeast. Chennai and Hyderabad to be designated points for southern India," news agency ANI quoted government sources as saying.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma