The digital-platform, repurposed from Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network (e-VIN), is aimed at providing real-time information on vaccine-stocks, their storage temperature and individualized-tracking of beneficiaries. The unique tool (web and app) will assist the vaccine programme managers across all levels through automated-session allocation for pre-registered beneficiaries, their verification and for generating a digital certificate upon successful completion of the vaccine schedule.
Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has expressed satisfaction at the preparations after reviewing mock-drills at two sites in Delhi such as GTB Hospital, Shahdara and Urban Primary Health Centre, Daryaganj. “The entire exercise of the vaccine process is being systematically taken forward, including training of personnel for administering the vaccine. Detailed guidelines have been issued to stakeholders after extensive deliberations,” said the Minister, adding that Co-VIN is the game-changer.
Officials from the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have also witnessed the drive at some sites.
Ahead of the actual vaccination drive, a nation-wide mock-drill was conducted on Saturday at 285 session sites to test the end-to-end planned operations and the mechanism that has been set up to ensure smooth conduct of the COVID-19 vaccination.
The aim of the dry run is to check the multiple steps of the vaccination drive like assembling beneficiaries, checking identity, administering vaccine shots, recording data and observing them for 30 minutes. It would also check the time taken to vaccinate a person as well as the ease of using the Co-VIN app, which will issue a certificate to the vaccinated person.
The special drive, spread across 125 districts, has covered all States and Union Territories having adequate representation of urban and rural districts along with hand-to-reach areas. More than 75 lakh beneficiaries have been registered on Co-VIN platform.
A test link of Co-VIN (www.uat.co-vin.in) and a dummy app (www.app.uat.co-vin.in) for the vaccinator have been created for this purpose. A report will be submitted to the Central government and State governments on the dry run at the end of the day on the challenges faced.
In Karnataka, the mock-drill was conducted in five districts such as Belagavi, Bengaluru, Kalaburgi, Musuru and Shivamogga. Similarly the dry run was held in five districts of Tamil Nadu – Chennai, Tiruvallur, Nilgiris, Tirunelveli and Coimbatore. In Kerala, four districts, Thiruvananthapuram, Idukki, Wayanad and Pallakkad were covered for the mock-drill from 9 am to 11 am.
Andhra Pradesh, too, conducted the mock-drill in all its 13 districts. In Telangana, two districts – Hyderabad and Mahabubnagar – were covered for the dry run of the COVID-19 vaccination programme.
“We have trained more than 21,000 workers to give the vaccine safely by following the Central government’s protocols and guidelines,” said Tamil Nadu Health Minister Dr C Vijaybaskar.
Taking part in the trial run, held at the government district hospital at Peroorkkada in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja said the state is all prepared for the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine to health workers.
Telangana State health minister Eatala Rajender stated that the Central government has indicated it will provide vaccines in three phases to the state. Telangana will receive 5 lakh doses after the completion of the dry run, he said. The minister also stated that the Centre will provide 10 lakh and one crore doses in second and third phases respectively.
The exercise showed that all preparations were in ready mode for the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine in Tamil Nadu, said its Health Secretary J Radhakrishna, adding that overall, the processes worked successfully.
Co-VIN digital platform
The upgraded version of e-VIN, Co-VIN app will have four modules to cater to the needs of vaccinators, beneficiaries and administrators. These modules are administrator, registration, vaccination, beneficiary acknowledgement and report.
According to officials, e-VIN is an innovative technological solution aimed at strengthening immunization supply chain systems. This is being implemented under the National Health Mission (NHM) by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. E-VIN also aims to provide real-time information on vaccine stocks and flows, and storage temperatures across all cold chain points in the country. This robust system has been used with the requisite customization during the COVID pandemic for ensuring continuation of the essential immunization services.
e-VIN combines state-of-the-art technology, a strong IT infrastructure and trained human resources to enable real time monitoring of stock and storage temperature of the vaccines kept in multiple locations across the country.
At present, more than 23,507 cold chain points across 585 districts of 22 States and 2 UTs routinely use the e-VIN technology for efficient vaccine logistics management. Over 41,420 vaccine cold chain handlers have been introduced to digital record-keeping by training them on e-VIN. Nearly 23,900 electronic temperature loggers have been installed on vaccine cold chain equipment for accurate temperature review of vaccines in storage.
The e-VIN has helped create a big data architecture that generates actionable analytics encouraging data-driven decision-making and consumption based planning that helps in maintaining optimum stocks of vaccines leading to cost savings. Vaccine availability at all times has increased to 99% in most health centres.
Dr Harsh Vardhan said that the entire operational planning and IT platform has been field tested in four states on December 28-29, 2020 and on the basis of feedback received, certain enhancements have been made in the system.
All the state and district officials have been thoroughly trained for conducting this dry-run that is aimed at testing the laid-out mechanisms for COVID-19 vaccine roll-out. This dry run will end with review meetings at district and state level to discuss the issues and challenges encountered during the exercise, he added.