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COVID-19 vaccination drive to kick off on Jan 16

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Priority will be given to approx 3 crore healthcare workers and frontline workers, followed by those above 50 years of age and under-50 population groups with co-morbidities numbering around 27 crore

After a detailed review meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Modi and attended by senior health ministry functionaries, it was decided that in view of the forthcoming festivals including Lohri, Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Magh Bihu etc., India’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign would start from January 16.

The meeting was attended by the Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to PM, Health Secretary, and other senior officials concerned.

The Prime Minister was briefed on the preparedness of the State/UTs for COVID vaccination, the three phases of dry runs conducted across the country, with the third dry run conducted yesterday (January 8) across 615 districts covering 4895 session sites in 33 States/UTs.

The Hon’ble PM was also briefed about the preparedness status of the Centre in close collaboration with the State and UT governments for the rollout of the vaccine which would call for the participation of citizens, utilising the experience of elections (booth strategy) and India’s Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP); with no compromise of existing healthcare services, especially national programmes and primary health care; no compromise on scientific and regulatory norms, other SOPs; and an orderly and smooth implementation driven by technology.

The roll-out of COVID-19 vaccine will be prioritised to healthcare workers and frontline workers (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 Prime Minister was also apprised about the Co-WIN Vaccine Delivery Management System, which will provide real time information of vaccine stocks, their storage temperature and individualised tracking of beneficiaries of the COVID-19 vaccine. This platform will assist the programme 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.

The PM was also updated on the training of vaccinators and vaccine administrators. 2,360 participants were trained during national level Training of Trainers which comprised state immunisation 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 trainings at States, Districts and Block levels.

(Edits by Team EH)

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