The much-awaited Covid vaccination drive is set to begin in India on January 16. According to official sources, 3 lakh health workers will be administered the vaccine on the first day of the drive at 2,934 sites across the country. The health ministry has urged the states to not organise unreasonable number of vaccinations per day at each site. the states have also been asked to increase the number of vaccination sites in order to smooth out the process going forward. The Centre has also asked the states to make arrangements to deal with any side-effects following the vaccination.
The government has also hinted that vaccine recipients will have the choice to choose between the two approved vaccines – Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin. The health ministry has also said that getting vaccinated will be voluntary. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan had said on Tuesday that more than one vaccine is being administered by many countries. However, recipients do not have the option to choose the vaccine.
Vaccination drive is set to kick off in India on Saturday with a virtual launch by prime minister Narendra Modi. The PM will also launch Co-WIN app during the launch. Three crore healthcare and frontline workers will be vaccinated in the first phase of vaccination drive followed by 27 crore people over the age of 50 and those under 50 with co-morbidities.
Earlier, the prime minister directed to state authorities to dispel rumours doing rounds regarding the safety and efficacy of the two approved vaccines. The prime minister said all efforts were made by the scientists and medical experts to ensure an effective vaccine is administered to countrymen. The PM said the cost for the first phase of vaccination drive will be borne by the Centre. The prime minister also urged the citizens to keep taking precautions even after the onset of vaccination drive.