COVAXIN: Doctors, nurses, MBBS students to get first vaccine doses
Health workers will be among the first 30 crore people to be administered Bharat Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine. The central government is finalizing a vaccine delivery procedure, which includes identifying the priority groups who will get the first vaccine doses and at no cost. Bharat Biotech's vaccine candidate, called COVAXIN, is expected to be ready by February 2021. Here are more details.
Earlier, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had said that states have been asked to identify groups of priority beneficiaries. 30 crore priority beneficiaries who will get vaccine doses in the initial phase have been identified. Four broad categories to be administered the vaccine on priority include healthcare professionals, frontline workers, people aged above 50, and 'special category'. Vaccine administration will be free for them.
One crore healthcare professionals identified among priority beneficiaries include doctors, nurses, ASHA workers, MBBS students, etc. Two crore frontline workers include municipal corporation workers, police personnel, and armed force personnel. 26 crore people aged over 50 will also be treated as a priority group along with one crore special category people, comprising people under 50 but with co-morbidities.
The Centre has suggested establishing State Steering Committee (SSC) chaired by the Chief Secretary, a State Task Force (STF) headed by the Additional Chief Secretary or Principal Secretary (Health), and a District Task Force (DTF) to be headed by the District Magistrate. As per the blueprint, state governments would identify buildings that can be used as vaccination booths under the special COVID-19 immunization program.
As of Saturday morning, India has reported a total of 84,62,080 COVID-19 cases, after witnessing a spike of 50,356 new cases in the past 24 hours. India is notably the world's second worst-hit country after the United States. The total cases include 5,16,632 active infections, while 78,19,886 patients have recovered since the beginning of the pandemic. The death toll has risen to 1,25,562.