January 16, 2021

PM Narendra Modi launches world’s largest COVID vaccination drive

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched India’s COVID-19 vaccination drive today via video conferencing.

Adequate doses of the two made-in-India vaccines have been delivered across the country to all States and Union Territories, the Government said on Thursday.

This will be the world’s largest vaccination programme covering the entire length and breadth of the country and all preparations are in place to initiate the programme on the principles of ‘Jan Bhagidari’, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

Prime Minister Modi launched the pan-India rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination drive on January 16 at 10.30 AM via video conferencing. A total of 3,006 session sites across all States and UTs will be virtually connected during the launch and around 100 beneficiaries will be vaccinated at each session site on the first day.

The PMO statement said the vaccination programme is based on principles of priority groups to be vaccinated first. Healthcare workers, both in the Government and private sectors, including Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) workers, will receive the vaccine during this phase. The vaccination programme will use Co-WIN, an online digital platform developed by Union Health Ministry, which will facilitate real-time information of vaccine stocks, storage temperature and individualised tracking of beneficiaries for COVID-19 vaccine. This digital platform will assist programme managers across all levels while conducting vaccination sessions, the PMO said. A dedicated 24x7 call centre – 1075 – has also been established for addressing the queries related to COVID-19 pandemic, vaccine rollout and the Co-WIN software. Earlier in the day, the Health Ministry said, “The massive countrywide COVID-19 vaccination drive will be rolled out by Prime Minister from January 16.”

The full initial procurement of 1.65 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines - Covishield and Covaxin-- has been allocated to all States and UTs in proportion to their healthcare workers database. “Therefore, there is no question of discrimination against any State in the allocation of vaccination doses,” the Ministry said. States have been advised to organise vaccination sessions taking into account 10 per cent reserve/wastage doses and an average of 100 vaccinations per session per day. Therefore, any undue haste on the parts of the States to organise unreasonable numbers of vaccination per site per day is not advised, the Ministry had said on Wednesday. According to the Government, the shots will be offered first to an estimated one crore healthcare workers, and around two crore frontline workers, and then to persons above 50 years of age, followed by persons younger than 50 years of age with associated comorbidities. Cost of vaccination of healthcare and frontline workers will be borne by the Central Government.

Also Read: Minor girl allegedly gang raped, murdered on the eve of Magh Bihu in Dibrugarh

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