Delhi holds dry run for vaccine drive, Jain says shot will be free

Health Minister calls process ‘flawless’; all vaccination centres linked to hospitals

A dry run for the COVID-19 vaccination drive, without anyone actually being inoculated, was carried out at three centres in the city on Saturday to check the preparedness of the system.

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain termed the process “flawless”.

The dry run was carried out at three healthcare facilities in the national capital: Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital in Shahdara, Urban Primary Health Centre in Daryaganj, and Venkateshwar Hospital in Dwarka.

While Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan reviewed the dry run at GTB Hospital, Mr. Jain visited the health centre at Daryaganj. The latter reiterated the government’s stand that the vaccine will be provided free of cost to the people in Delhi.

“The system created is very good. I feel it is flawless. All [vaccination] centres have been linked to a hospital,” Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said after visiting the facility.

3 rooms in each booth

Each booth for vaccination will have three rooms: waiting room, vaccination room, and observation room.

Shalini, 35, a nurse at GTB Hospital who was part of the 25 healthcare workers participating in the dry run at the hospital, said that the hospital had explained the process on Friday and things went smoothly on Saturday.

“We came here around 8 a.m. and first got our documents checked before sitting in the waiting room. Then, we were called to the vaccination room. There, I was told that it will be a two-dose vaccine and that it was safe. I asked whether I should roll up my sweater’s sleeve for the mock drill, but they said no and asked me to wait for half an hour in the observation area,” Ms. Shalini said.

Little concerned

The nurse, however, said that many healthcare workers like her were a little concerned about the safety of the new vaccine. “But we will have to take the vaccine to defeat the virus. What else will we do?” she said.

In GTB Hospital, a stretcher was kept ready near the observation room, which is part of the preparedness to take care of people who suffer any complication during the actual vaccination drive.

Once the vaccine is approved, it will come to a main storage centre being created at the Delhi government-run Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital.

From there it will go to 11 district vaccine stores, one in each district in the city.

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