COVID-19 vaccination drive to kick off in India on Jan 16
According to government reports, India will launch its COVID-19 vaccination drive on January 16, 2021, and the priority will be given to nearly three crore healthcare and frontline workers. The decision was taken after Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the status of COVID-19 situation and vaccine preparedness.
"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.
After healthcare and frontline workers, priority will be given to those above 50 years of age and the under-50 population groups with co-morbidities, numbering around 27 crore, it added.
"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," the government said.
Earlier this week, the Health Ministry had said that it has prepared to roll out COVID-19 vaccines within 10 days from the date of emergency use authorisation, which was issued on January 3, but noted that the final decision lies with the government.
In a press briefing, the Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said healthcare workers and frontline workers need not register themselves as their database has been populated on to the Co-WIN vaccine delivery management system in a bulk manner.
Several global leaders have lauded India’s leadership in vaccine manufacturing, and the decisive stand the country has taken to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
The universal race for a vaccine to combat coronavirus has been well documented throughout the world. With these two vaccines leading the drive in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing the National Metrology Conclave, had said India is not far from starting the world’s largest vaccination programme.
India’s vaccination drive is touted to be one of the largest, catering to a huge population of 1.3 billion. The drive will begin with the frontline healthcare workers, followed by people over the age of 50 on priority
There are 2,24,190 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country which constitutes 2.16 per cent of the total caseload so far of over 1.04 crore, according to the latest Health Ministry data. More than 1.5 lakh people have died so far.