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COVID-19 vaccination drive to start from 16th January

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COVID-19 vaccination in India will start from 16th January, after the forthcoming festivals including Lohri, Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Magh Bihu.

After a high-level meeting chaired by the Prime Minister with the State/UTs reviewing the status of COVID-19 and preparedness for vaccination in the country, informed that after the forthcoming festivals including Lohri, Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Magh Bihu, etc., the vaccination drive will start from 16th January 2021.

“The vaccination exercise is underpinned by the principles of people’s participation (Jan Bhagidari); utilizing the 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,” the statement said.

The roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine will provide priority to the healthcare workers and the frontline workers who are estimated to be around three crores, followed by those above 50 years of age and the under-50 population groups with co-morbidities numbering around 27 crores.

“The Prime Minister took a detailed and comprehensive review of the status of COVID management covering various issues. Emergency Use Authorisation or Accelerated Approval has been granted by the National Regulator for two vaccines Covishield and Covaxin, which has established safety & immunogenicity,” a statement said.

As per the statement, the Prime Minister was also apprised about the Co-WIN Vaccine Delivery Management System. The unique digital platform will provide real-time information of vaccine stocks, their storage temperature, and individualized tracking of beneficiaries of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The 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.

As the vaccinators and vaccine administrators comprise a crucial pillar of the vaccination exercise, their training process was detailed, “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, two 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.”

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

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