India to launch countrywide Covid-19 vaccination drive on Jan 16

Officials unload boxes containing vials of Covishield, a Covid-19 vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute of India, after a consignment of the vaccines arrived from the western city of Pune for its distribution, outside a vaccination storage centre in Ahmedabad, India, on Jan 12, 2021. -Reuters

NEW DELHI (Xinhua): Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the countrywide Covid-19 vaccination drive on Saturday (Jan 16), a statement issued by the federal health ministry said.

According to V. K. Paul, a member of the government think tank National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog (commission), some 300,000 people will receive shots on the first day in India.

"The vaccination drive will begin with 3,000 sites on Saturday. Each centre will inoculate 100 people a day to begin with," Kaul was quoted by a local TV news channel as saying.

Paul said as the programme progresses, it will increase to 5,000 sites and more.

According to officials, priority will be given to healthcare and frontline workers who are estimated to be around 30 million, followed by those above 50 years of age and the under-50 population groups with co-morbidities, totaling around 270 million.

Recently Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) approved two Covid-19 vaccines for restricted emergency use, namely the Oxford/Astrazeneca COVID-19 vaccine Covishield which is manufactured by Serum Institute of India (SII) and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech, paving the way for a massive inoculation drive.

Batches of Covishield and Covaxin have been distributed to different states and preparations are going on in full swing for the rollout on Saturday.

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India , covid-19 , vaccination , Jan 16


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