India to begin COVID-19 vaccination drive from January 16, ‘A landmark step’ tweets PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Saturday, announced on Twitter regarding the start of India’s COVID-19 vaccination drive. India will begin a nationwide vaccination drive from January 16. This will be a landmark step in fighting the pandemic as it would be the world’s largest vaccination drive to be conducted.

The Prime Minister wrote, “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.”

Nearly 3 crore healthcare and frontline workers will be receiving the vaccine from next week. Then, those above 50 years of age will receive the dose followed by people younger than 50 years of age with associated comorbidities. The total number is estimated at 27 crore.

India has recently granted emergency authorisation to two coronavirus vaccines — Covishield by Serum Institute of India which the researchers claim that the vaccine protected against disease in 62% of those given two full doses and in 90% of those initially given a half dose and the other is Covaxin by Bharat Biotech.

A digitalised platform called the COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network (Co-WIN) system will be used to track enlisted beneficiaries for the vaccination and anti-coronavirus vaccines on a real-time basis. It will provide real-time information of vaccine stocks, their storage temperature and individualized tracking of beneficiaries of the COVID-19 vaccine. This platform will assist the program managers across all levels through automated session allocation for pre-registered beneficiaries, their verification and for generating a digital certificate upon successful completion of the vaccine schedule. More than 79 lakh beneficiaries have been already registered on the platform.

For this mega drive, over 2,360 participants were trained during national level Training of Trainers which comprised state immunization officers, cold chain officers, IEC officials, development partners etc. More than 61,000 programme managers, 2 lakh vaccinators and 3.7 lakh other vaccination team members have been trained so far as part of training at states, districts and block levels.