New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Saturday once again reiterated that the top priority of the central government is vaccine's "safety and efficacy", urging people not to believe in rumours.

While reviewing the dry run drill in Delhi's Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, Vardhan said that there are "misconceptions" about the safety of COVID-19 vaccine and stressed that "everything has been checked in detail".

"I appeal to people not to pay heed to rumours. Ensuring the safety and efficacy of the vaccine is our priority. Different kinds of rumours were spread during polio immunisation but people took the vaccine and India is now polio-free," Vardhan was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Speaking about the dry run, he said that all standard operating procedures (SOPs) and guidelines are being followed by states and union territories (UTs) during the exercise that is being conducted in 116 districts across 259 sites.

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"Feedbacks received after the dry run in 4 states were included in guidelines for vaccination and today's dry run in all states and UTs is being conducted as per new guidelines. Except for giving an actual vaccine, every procedure is being followed during the drill," he said.

India conducts COVID-19 vaccine dry run

The Union Health Ministry on Saturday conducted a nationwide dry run with the objective to gear up for the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccine across the country.

According to Union Health Ministry, the objective of the dry run for COVID-19 vaccine introduction is to "assess operational feasibility in the use of COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network (Co-WIN) application in field environment, to test the linkages between planning and implementation and to identify the challenges and guide the way forward prior to actual implementation".

This is also expected to give confidence to programme managers at various levels, it said while adding that the activity is proposed to be conducted in all State Capitals in at least 3 session sites.

Some States will also include districts that are situated in difficult terrain/have poor logistical support. Maharashtra and Kerala are likely to schedule the dry run in major cities other than their Capital.

(With agency inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma