The Union government today - Saturday January 9 - announced that it will start the COVID-19 vaccination drive in the country from 16 January.
The roll-out of the long-awaited vaccine will provide priority to the healthcare workers and the front-line workers (who are estimated to be around three crore), followed by those above 50 years of age and the under-50 population groups with comorbidities, which numbers around 27 crore.
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
Reportedly, this decision was taken after a detailed high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review the COVID-19 situation in the country. The meeting was attended by Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to the PM, Health Secretary, and other senior officials.
According to media report, the vaccination drive is scheduled keeping in view of the forthcoming festivals including Lohri, Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Magh Bihu etc.
Media reports state that Modi was also briefed about the status of Centre’s preparations done in close collaboration with the State and union territory governments for the roll out of the vaccines.
Emergency Use Authorisation or Accelerated Approval has been granted by the National Regulator for two vaccines (Covishield and Covaxin) which have established safety and immunogenicity.
According to the PIB, as the vaccinators and vaccine administrators comprise a crucial pillar of the vaccination exercise, their training process was detailed, and 2,360 participants - which comprised state immunization officers, cold chain officers, IEC officials, development partners etc. - were trained during the national level Training for Trainers. More than 61,000 programme managers, 2 lakh vaccinators and 3.7 lakh other vaccination team members have been trained so far as part of trainings at States, Districts and Block levels.
Additionally, the Co-WIN Vaccine Delivery Management System - a digital platform - will provide real time information of vaccine stocks, their storage temperature, and individualized tracking of beneficiaries of the COVID-19 vaccine. “This platform will assist the program 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. More than 79 lakh beneficiaries have been already registered on the platform,” the Centre said.
(Edited by Athira Nair)