PM Modi to meet CMs today, discuss coronavirus vaccine roll-out
On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair a virtual meeting with chief ministers of all states and discuss the coronavirus vaccine roll-out, making this interaction crucial as India prepares to inoculate citizens from January 16. This will be the first meeting with states' leaders after the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) approved two vaccines — COVAXIN and Covishield — earlier this month.
'Prepared for drive,' said some states, ahead of meeting
The meeting will reportedly start around 4 pm. Before the interaction, several states claimed they were prepared for the drive. To note, it was at another meeting, chaired by PM Modi and attended by top officials, where it was decided to start the world's largest immunization program on January 16. The date was pushed considering festivals like Makar Sakranti, Pongal, Bihu, etc.
India will take a landmark step on January 16: PM
Healthcare workers will be given priority, followed by 'corona warriors'
The government plans to administer the vaccine to nearly two crore healthcare workers, followed by one crore corona warriors. Those above the age of 50 and those under 50, having co-morbidities, are next in line. They make for nearly 27 crore people. NITI Aayog member, Dr. VK Paul, recently said, "We will not finish the last healthcare worker's vaccination before starting with frontline workers."
Delhi CM urged Centre to make vaccine free for citizens
On Saturday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urged the Centre to make the vaccine free for all countrymen. "Coronavirus is the biggest epidemic of the century. It is very important to protect your people from this, (sic)" he tweeted. To recall, Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan has already announced that "not just in Delhi, it [the vaccine] will be free across the country."
Mamata Banerjee claimed her state is prepared for vaccination drive
Among the states that have said they are prepared for the drive is West Bengal. In a letter to policemen and healthcare workers, she said, "I am very happy to announce that our government is making arrangements to facilitate the administration of COVID-19 vaccine to all the people of state without any cost." Nearly six lakh healthcare workers have been listed for vaccination.
Rajasthan will vaccinate 4.5L healthcare workers first, Gujarat 11L
Separately, about the preparations, Rajasthan Health Minister Raghu Sharma revealed that 4.5 lakh healthcare workers are most likely to get the doses in the first phase. Details of 4,36,146 government and private sector healthcare workers were uploaded on the Co-WIN platform by Saturday afternoon. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said 11 lakh people involved in coronavirus duties will be vaccinated in the first phase.
Adityanath assured Centre's guidelines will be followed in UP
Goa's priority list has nearly 18,000 healthcare workers. Meanwhile, the country's most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, is determined to make the vaccine available to every citizen. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said, "The vaccination drive will start from January 16 and we aim to cover every person under it. It will also be ensured that all guidelines of the Union government are followed during vaccination."
Transportation of Covishield may start soon
Reports claimed that the Serum Institute of India (SII), which is mass-producing Covishield, will begin transporting jabs from Pune today evening or tomorrow. Last week, the vials weren't airlifted from the Pune airport as SII awaited the government's nod. The Maharashtra government will provide police protection to trucks carrying the doses till the airport and state borders.
Kool-Ex Cold Chain will be involved in massive transportation exercise
"A cold chain logistics service provider — Kool-Ex Cold Chain Ltd is the lead vendor for the movement of the vaccine from the SII factory to 48 primary government locations (depots) in the first leg," the company's co-founder Rahul Agarwal said, as per PTI.