GUWAHATI: The Assam health department on Friday launched the third phase of the dry run for COVID-19 vaccination across the state after starting the same in Nalbari, Sonitpur and Kamrup (Metropolitan) districts recently in two phases.

District and senior officials of the health department monitored the progress of the dry run during the day conducted in three centres in each district.

National Health Mission (NHM) officials here had earlier informed that the dry run would be a continuous process till the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine in the state.

“A dry run is necessary to test the preparedness across the districts and prevent hiccups during the actual vaccination drive,” an official said.

The preparatory exercise, from pre-checking documents enrolled at the time of online registration by verifying officials to setting up of waiting rooms, vaccination rooms and observation rooms, was carried out smoothly across the designated centres in the districts on Friday.

Sources said that teams comprising security officials, verifying officials, vaccinators and crowd control officials have been assigned to oversee the exercise across the districts.

The first phase of the vaccination drive will involve healthcare workers and subsequently security personnel and citizens above 55 years of age.

Assam has in fact started preparations for storage of the vaccines about three to four months back.

Sources inform that a state vaccine storage facility has been set up in Guwahati besides regional vaccine storage facilities in five locations of the state. Cold chain points have been installed across the state.

Assam has so far recorded over 2.16 lakh COVID-19 cases and 1,059 deaths.

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