Start vaccinating frontline workers from next week, Centre tells states
Two weeks after the coronavirus vaccination drive was launched in India, the union government on Friday directed all states and union territories to begin inoculating frontline workers from Monday, i.e., February 1. The estimated two crore frontline workers will get vaccinated along with the healthcare personnel. The Centre is sponsoring the vaccination of the corona warriors, who face a higher risk of getting infected.
Data of over 61 lakh workers uploaded on Co-WIN platform
Health Ministry Additional Secretary Dr. Manohar Agnani, in a letter to states and UTs, said after due consultations it was decided to include frontline workers (FLWs) in the drive. "The database of FLWs has been uploaded by states/UTs in collaboration with respective line ministries and as on date, the database of more than 61 lakh FLWs has been uploaded on Co-WIN," he wrote.
Required doses of both vaccines allocated: Dr. Agnani
The required doses of both vaccines — Covishield and COVAXIN — were allocated to states and UTs. "Further argumentation will be made through subsequent releases of vaccine doses to states and UTs. The States and UTs should ensure that the sessions must be created for both the type of vaccines in proportion to the release of vaccines to the state, (sic)" he said.
He also praised states, UTs for role in vaccination drive
Further, Dr. Agnani informed that by January 29, 29.28 lakh healthcare workers (HCWs) had been vaccinated. He also appreciated the efforts put by states/UTs into the world's largest vaccination drive. "I request you to kindly direct the concerned officials to initiate requisite planning and review for initiating vaccination of FLWs along with HCWs from the first week of February 2021, (sic)" he added.
First round of drive could wrap up by April
The frontline workers, in line for vaccination, include the personnel from state and central police forces, home guards, armed forces, those employed in prisons, disaster management volunteers, municipal workers, etc. Reportedly, the Centre is hoping to complete the vaccination of the three crore frontline and healthcare workers by April. In the subsequent round, those above 50 and those having co-morbidities will be targeted.
Over 33 lakh healthcare workers vaccinated by Friday
Although Dr. Agnani's letter pegged the number of healthcare workers inoculated at 29.28 lakh, more than 33 lakh had been vaccinated by Friday. "4,40,681 beneficiaries were vaccinated till 7 pm today, the fourteenth day of nationwide COVID-19 vaccination. Final reports would be completed for the day by late tonight," a statement from the Ministry read. Uttar Pradesh has administered the maximum number of doses.
UP leads in vaccination drive, Karnataka comes second
With a share of 12.6% in the total vaccination, UP has emerged as a leader in the drive, followed by Karnataka, whose share is around 9%. Over 72% of the total vaccination was conducted in 10 states.
'System has accelerated and speed has stabilized'
A senior Health Ministry official hinted that the ambitious inoculation drive was finally picking pace. "Our Co-WIN system has stabilized. Yesterday we conducted 5.2 lakh vaccinations in a single day. Today again we will cross the 5 lakh mark. The system has accelerated, and that speed has stabilized," the official told IE, adding that India has enough vaccines to simultaneously inoculate both the groups.