New Delhi: The Central Government on Saturday announced that the ‘Coronavirus vaccination drive’ would begin in the country on January 16. As per reports, priority will be given to the healthcare workers and the frontline workers, estimated to be around 3 crore, followed by those above 50 years and the under-50 population groups with co-morbidities numbering around 27 crore. ALSO READ | ‘Provide Free Vaccine To All’: Delhi CM Kejriwal Appeals To PM Modi Ahead Of All Chief Minister’s Meet
“On 16th January, India takes a landmark step forward in fighting COVID-19. Starting that day, India’s nation-wide vaccination drive begins. Priority will be given to our brave doctors, healthcare workers, frontline workers including Safai Karamcharis,” PM Modi tweeted soon after the announcement.
On 16th January, India takes a landmark step forward in fighting COVID-19. Starting that day, India’s nation-wide vaccination drive begins. Priority will be given to our brave doctors, healthcare workers, frontline workers including Safai Karamcharis. https://t.co/P5Arw64wVt
– Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 9, 2021
The announcement came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting to review status of Covid-19 pandemic in the country along with preparedness of the State / UTs for vaccination earlier today. Meeting was attended by Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to PM, Health Secretary and other senior officials.
The center also said that a digital vaccine delivery management system will be implemented in order to give real-time information on vaccine stocks, storage temperature, tracking of beneficiaries. A digital platform will also be set up to help in automated session allocation, verification and post-vaccination certificate to recipients.
“After the detailed review, it was decided that in view of the forthcoming festivals including Lohri, Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Magh Bihu, etc., the COVID-19 vaccination will start from January 16, 2021,” a government statement said.
Announcing the rollout plan, the center also stated that ‘Emergency Use Authorization’ or ‘Accelerated Approval’ has been granted by the National Regulator for two vaccines (Covishield and Covaxin) which have established safety and immunogenicity.
The decision comes a day after India successfully completed second mock drill on COVID-19 vaccination on Friday in as many as 736 districts across 33 states and Union Territories.
Ahead of the Phase 1 vaccination drive, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair a meeting with the Chief Ministers of all the states on January 11 (Monday). The meeting is likely to be held at 4 pm.
In the meeting, PM is expected to discuss the detailed plans to roll Covid vaccines in all the states, following the Drug Controller General India’s (DCGI) approval for the restricted emergency use of two vaccines Serum Institute’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.