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India to start Covid vaccination drive from January 16; Landmark step, says PM Modi

Jammu:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday India would take a landmark step forward in fighting the coronavirus pandemic on January 16 when the government will begin the drive to vaccinate nearly 30 million healthcare and frontline workers.

“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,” PM Modi tweeted.

The Centre in a release stated that the vaccine will be administered to the healthcare and frontline workers on a priority basis, which would be followed by those above the age of 50 and the under-50 population groups with co-morbidities- which were estimated to be around 27 million.

The Prime Minister had earlier chaired a meeting to review the coronavirus pandemic situation in the country along with the preparedness of the states and Union territories for the vaccination drive. The meeting was attended by the principal secretary to PM, health secretary, cabinet secretary and other senior officials of the government. During the meet, Modi was also provided information with regard to the Co-Win app and the dry runs conducted across the country.

On January 3, the Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI) had granted approval for the Covid-19 vaccines of the Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use. The Union health ministry added that vaccines of both these manufacturers have established safety and immunogenicity.

India has so far conducted two dry runs of the Covid-19 vaccination. The first dry run was held on January 2 at 286 session sites across 125 districts while the second phase was held on January 8 736 districts across 33 states and Union Territories.

The health ministry had highlighted that the purpose such mock drills was to stimulate the actual vaccine administration event. It also aimed to familiarise the state, district, block and hospital level officers on all aspects of the vaccine roll-out.

 

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