The vaccination drive for COVID-19 in India will begin on 16 January 2021, the Centre said on Saturday, 9 January, a move that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called a “landmark step” in the fight against the pandemic.
“After the detailed review, it was decided that in view of the forthcoming festivals including Lohri, Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Magh Bihu etc., the COVID19 vaccination will start from 16th January 2021,” the Centre said on Saturday.
“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,” the Centre said.
“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 (sic),” PM Modi tweeted.
The announcement of the dates by the Centre comes after giving Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) to two vaccines – Serum Institute of India’s (SII) Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.
PM Chairs High-Level Meet
According to the Press Information Bureau (PIB), Prime Minister Modi chaired a high-level meeting to review the status of preparedness for COVID-19 vaccination of the central government and that of the states on Saturday.
The meeting was reportedly attended by Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to PM, Health Secretary, and other concerned senior officials.
PM Modi was briefed about the preparedness status of the Centre in close collaboration with the state and UT governments for the roll out of the vaccine. He was also apprised about the Co-WIN Vaccine Delivery Management System, which will be mandatory for the Centre use and the people to register and track the target groups.
“2,360 participants were trained during national-level Training of Trainers which comprised state immunization officers, cold chain officers, IEC officials, development partners, etc.[sic.] 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 the training at state, district and block levels,” the Centre said.
(With inputs from PIB.)
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