Prime minister Narendra Modi will kick off first phase of vaccination drive for Covid-19 on January 16. He will also launch Co-WIN app on the same day. 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 this week, the health ministry had announced that world’s largest vaccination drive will kick off on January 16 following approval of two vaccines – Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin. The decision was taken after prime minister reviewed the status of Covid-19 situation and preparedness. The government said emergency use authorisation to two vaccines was granted by DCGI following recommendation by a committee set up for the purpose.
Earlier, PM Modi directed to state authorities to dispel rumours doing round regarding the safety and efficacy of the vaccine. He said all efforts were taken by scientists and medical experts to ensure an effective vaccine is administered to people of the country. He added that the cost for the first phase of vaccination drive will be borne by the Centre. He urged the citizens to keep taking precautions even after the onset of vaccination drive.
Earlier on Tuesday, nearly sixty lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccines were dispatched from Pune’s Serum Institute of India (SII) to 13 cities across the country. Around 56.5 lakh doses were dispatched by air, while the remaining consignments to Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra left by road with a police escort. SII has a stock of seven crore doses at present. Out of these, the centre has procured 1.1 crore doses at Rs 200 per dose (Rs 210 with taxes).
India is the second-worst affected country in the world due to Covid-19 with the case count going up to 1,04,95,147 in past 24 hours. The active case load is at an all-time low of 2.14 lakh.