Hyderabad: The COVID-19 vaccination drive in India will begin on 16 January and priority will be given to healthcare workers and frontline workers, the government said on 9 January after Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting to review the COVID-19 status in the country.
Next in line to receive the vaccine are people aged 50 years and under-50 population groups with co-morbidities numbering around 27 crores.
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 Prime Minister took a detailed and comprehensive review of the status of COVID-19 management covering various issues. He was also briefed about the preparedness status of the Centre in close collaboration with the state and UT governments for the roll-out of the vaccine. The Prime Minister was also apprised about the Co-WIN vaccine delivery management system. The unique digital platform will provide real-time information of vaccine stocks, their storage temperature, and individualised tracking of beneficiaries of the COVID-19 vaccine. This platform will assist the program managers across all levels through automated session allocation for pre-registered beneficiaries, their verification, and for generating a digital certificate upon successful completion of the vaccine schedule. More than 79 lakh beneficiaries have already registered on the platform.
Regarding vaccinators and vaccine administrators, the government said that 2,360 participants were trained during national-level training of trainers which comprised state immunisation officers, cold chain officers, IEC officials, and development partners. More than 61,000 programme managers, two lakh vaccinators, and 3.7 lakh other vaccination team members have been trained so far as part of training at state, district, and block levels.
The Prime Minister was also apprised of the three phases of dry runs conducted across the country. The third dry run was conducted on 8 January in 615 districts and covered 4,895 session sites in 33 states and UTs.
After the detailed review, it was decided that in view of the forthcoming festivals including Lohri, Makar Sankranti, Pongal, and Magh Bihu, the COVID-19 vaccination will start from 16 January 2021.