NEW DELHI| The Union Health Ministry said on Saturday that the much-awaited coronavirus vaccination campaign will begin on January 16. The ministry said in a statement, “It has been decided that the Covid-19 vaccination will start from 16 January 2021 in view of the upcoming festivals – Lohri, Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Magh Bihu etc.”
In the initial stages of the vaccination program, priority will be given to the first health workers, frontline workers, the whose estimated number is around three crores. After this, vaccines will be given to the victims of serious diseases above the age of 50 years, whose estimated number is around 27 crores.
On January 3, two vaccines, Bharat Biotech Covaxin and Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, were approved for emergency use.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting on Saturday to review and prepare the states and union territories for the vaccination campaign.
The Prime Minister undertook a detailed and comprehensive review of the status of Covid management covering various issues. Modi was also briefed about the Centre’s ready position in close cooperation with the state and union territories for the roll-out of the vaccine.
The Prime Minister was also informed about the Co-Win Vaccine Delivery Management System. The unique digital platform will provide real-time information of the vaccine stock, its storage temperature, and individual tracking of beneficiaries of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The platform will assist program managers at all levels to create a digital certificate for pre-registered beneficiaries on automatic session allocation, their verification and successful completion of the vaccine schedule. Already more than 79 lakh beneficiaries have been registered on the platform.
So far, over 61,000 program managers, two lakh vaccinators and 3.7 lakh other immunization team members have been trained at the state, district and block levels.
The Prime Minister was also apprised of the three-phase dry run organized across the country. The third dry run campaign was conducted on Friday at 4,895 locations in 615 districts of 33 states and union territories.