Almost a week after approving two coronavirus vaccines, the Indian government has decided to start the mass vaccination drive from January 16.
The decision was announced by the Prime Minister’s Office on Saturday, January 09 through a press release.
This decision was taken after Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting to review the status of COVID-19 in the South Asian country — which was once declared as the second-worst affected country of the world. The meeting was attended by Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to PM, Health Secretary, and other senior officials concerned.
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It has been decided to start the vaccination drive after the festivities of the month — such as Lohri, Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Magh Bihu etc. — are wrapped up.
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
“The vaccination exercise in underpinned by the principles of people’s participation (Jan Bhagidari); utilizing experience of elections (booth strategy) and Universal Immunization Program (UIP); no compromise of existing healthcare services, especially national programs and primary health care; no compromise on scientific and regulatory norms, other SOPs; and an orderly and smooth implementation driven by technology,” the press release read.
Covishield and COVAXIN the two approved vaccines will first be administered to the healthcare workers and the frontline workers — who are estimated to be nearly three crores.
The second group in priority line will be citizens aged above 50 years and people who are vulnerable to the deadly virus and then “the under-50 population groups with co-morbidities numbering around 27 crores,” the government of India said.
India has already conducted dry runs to test the readiness of the authorities and healthcare workers.
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