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India to begin Covid vaccination drive from January 16

Priority will be given to the healthcare staff and frontline workers, who are estimated to be around three crore in number.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: January 9, 2021 8:40:01 pm
coronavirus india updates, coronavirus india news, covid india updates, india coronavirus vaccine, vaccine news, covishield, covaxin, indian expressPM Modi on Saturday chaired a high-level meeting to review the preparedness of the State/UTs for COVID vaccination. (Express Photo by Partha Paul)

India is all set to kick off the vaccination drive against Covid-19 on January 16, 2021, the central government notified in a press release on Saturday.

The rollout of Covid vaccine will provide priority to the healthcare workers and the frontline workers who are estimated to be around 3 crore, followed by those above 50 years of age and the under-50 population groups with co-morbidities numbering around 27 crore.

The government has scheduled to start the drive just after the forthcoming festivals such as Lohri, Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Magh Bihu, among others.

Giving the information, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “On 16th January, India takes a landmark step forward in fighting COVID-19. Starting that day, India’s nation-wide vaccination drive begins. Priority will be given to our brave doctors, healthcare workers, frontline workers including Safai Karamcharis.”

On Saturday, PM Modi chaired a high-level meeting to review status of COVID-19 in the country along with preparedness of the states and UTs for Covid vaccination. The meeting was attended by Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to PM, Health Secretary, and other senior officials.

During his 16th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas address earlier today, PM Modi said India is ready with two vaccines for the protection of humanity and the world is not only waiting for them but also watching how the country runs the globe’s biggest vaccination programme.

India’s drugs regulator recently approved Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and the indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country. Two dry runs of the vaccines have also been conducted across the country to understand the best way to administer them and plug loopholes in logistics and training.

Modi lauded India’s fight against COVID-19 and said we are among the countries with the lowest fatality rate and the highest recovery rate. He also said the way the country stood together during the pandemic was unparalleled. “Being the pharmacy of the world, India has supplied important medicines to all those in need in the world and continues to do so”, he said.

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