COVID-19 vaccination drive: PM to launch world’s largest immunisation exercise on Jan 16 – 5 points to know

The Delhi government has finalised 75 hospitals where the inoculation of COVID-19 vaccines would begin from January 16 onwards.

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Saturday (January 16) launch the rollout of India’s COVID-19 vaccination programme. The Co-WIN (COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network) App, a digital platform for real-time monitoring of COVID-19 vaccine delivery and distribution, will also be launched on January 16.

In the wake of this, Polio vaccination day has been rescheduled, announced the Union Health Ministry on Thursday. “The massive countrywide COVID-19 vaccination drive will be rolled out by Prime Minister from January 16. This would be the world’s largest immunisation exercise. Therefore, it has been decided by the Ministry of Health in consultation with the office of the President of India to reschedule the Polio vaccination day, also known as the National Immunisation Day (NID) or ‘Polio Ravivar’ to 31st January,” said the ministry.

Meanwhile, reports suggest that on Saturday, PM Modi will likely interact via video link with some of the healthcare workers from across the country who will be receiving the shots on the first day.

COVID-19 vaccination drive in India

Nearly three lakh healthcare workers at 2,934 inoculation centres will be vaccinated on the first day of the world’s biggest vaccination COVID-19 drive.

In accordance with the guidelines issued to the shortlisted vaccination centres, the healthcare workers who have been registered on Co-WIN to be vaccinated on January 16 shall include not only doctors and nurses but also safai karamcharis, ambulance drivers, nursing orderlies, and from a mixed age group, including above 50 years. As per the government, the shots will be offered first to around one crore healthcare workers, and approximately two crore frontline workers, and later to persons above 50 years of age, followed by persons younger than 50 years of age with associated comorbidities.

The government has allocated full initial procurement of 1.65 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines – Covishield and Covaxin– 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. This is an initial lot of supply of vaccine doses and would be continuously replenished in the weeks to come. Therefore, any apprehension being expressed on account of deficient supply is totally baseless and unfounded,” said the Health Ministry.

Each vaccination session will cater to a maximum of 100 beneficiaries. States have been asked to arrange vaccination sessions estimating 10 per cent reserve/wastage doses and an average of 100 vaccinations per session per day. Keeping this in mind, the ministry had on Wednesday asserted that any undue haste on the parts of the states to organise unreasonable numbers of vaccination per site per day is not advised. Moreover, States/UTs have been asked to expand the number of vaccination session sites to be operational every day in a gradual manner as the vaccination process stabilises and moves forward.

Cost of vaccination of healthcare and frontline workers will be borne by the Centre.

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