Coronavirus vaccination drive to begin on January 16, says government
The coronavirus vaccination drive in India will be started on January 16, 2021, marking a significant turning point in the ongoing pandemic that has claimed thousands of lives across the country. In the vaccination exercise, the top priority will be given to the healthcare officials and the frontline workers, the Government of India said today. Here are more details on this.
The decision was taken during a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review the status of COVID-19 in the country as well as the preparedness of the states and union territories for vaccination, today. The meeting was also attended by Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to PM, Health Secretary, and other senior officials of the government.
Firstly, vaccine doses will be administered the healthcare officials and the frontline workers across the country, who are estimated to be around 3 crore in number. They will be followed by citizens above the age of 50 years and those below the age of 50 years but suffering from co-morbidities. The second group is estimated to be around 27 crore in number.
Last week, the country's top drug regulator granted the final approval to two coronavirus vaccines - Covishield and COVAXIN. Covishield has been developed by the Oxford University and AstraZeneca and produced in India by the Serum Institute of India. COVAXIN, on the other hand, has been indigenously developed by Bharat Biotech. India has been conducting dry runs before carrying out the actual exercise.
India on Friday reported over 18,000 fresh coronavirus infections, taking the total case load to 1.04 crore. The country's death toll stands at 1,50,855. India is the second worst-hit nation in the outbreak, while the United States is the worst affected with over two crore cases. Across the globe, the pandemic has infected nearly nine crore and claimed the lives of over 19 lakh.