Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 9
India will launch the Covid-19 vaccination drive from January 16, with healthcare and frontline workers receiving the first shots.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the schedule of the world’s largest vaccination drive today after chairing a high-level meeting to review the country’s pandemic status as well as vaccination preparedness.
“On January 16, India takes a landmark step in fighting Covid-19. Starting that day, the nationwide vaccine drive begins. Priority will be given to our brave doctors, healthcare and frontline workers, including safai karamcharis,” the PM tweeted.
The announcement came days after emergency use authorisation for two vaccines was granted by the drug regulator.
Oxford-AstraZeneca-SII’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin will be used for vaccinating one crore health workers and two crore frontline workers, followed by 27 crore people aged 50 and above and those below 50 with comorbidities.
According to Health Ministry guidelines, the latest electoral rolls for the Lok Sabha and Legislative Assembly elections will be used to identify population aged 50 and above. The PM is scheduled to interact with chief ministers of all states via videoconferencing on Monday to review preparedness.
The vaccination drive is starting in India almost a year after the first case was reported on January 30, 2020, in Kerala. At the review meeting today, Modi was briefed on the Co-WIN vaccine delivery management system, a digital platform that will provide real-time information of vaccine stocks, storage temperature and tracking of beneficiaries.
This platform will assist the programme managers through automated session allocation for pre-registered beneficiaries, their verification and for generating a digital certificate upon successful completion of the vaccine schedule.