India to begin coronavirus vaccination from January 16
New Delhi : The Union Ministry of health and welfare on Saturday announced that the coronavirus vaccination drive in India will begin from January 16 onwards.
“After the detailed review, it was decided that in view of the forthcoming festivals including Lohri, Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Magh Bihu etc., the COVID19 vaccination will start from 16th January 2021,” the health ministry said in a statement.
The announcement came after PM Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting with the Chief Ministers of states to discuss the COVID-19 situation and their preparedness for the vaccination drive.
Modi did a detailed and comprehensive review of various issues such as emergency use authorisation or accelerated approval that has been granted by the national regulator to two vaccines (Covishield and Covaxin).
“…PM was also briefed about the preparedness status of the Centre in close collaboration with the State and UT governments for roll out of the vaccine in the near future. The vaccination exercise in underpinned by the principles of people’s participation (Jan Bhagidari); utilizing experience of elections (booth strategy) and Universal Immunization Program (UIP); no compromise of existing healthcare services, especially national programs and primary health care; no compromise on scientific and regulatory norms, other SOPs; and an orderly and smooth implementation driven by technology,” said the health ministry statement.
In the first phase of vaccine rollout, the priority will be given to the healthworkers, followed by those above 50 years of age and the under-50 population groups with co-morbidities (numbering around 270 million).