NEW DELHI: India has been preparing for one of the world's largest immunization processes. Vaccinating more than 120 crore Indians, is a large process and will be carried out in stages.
The country will begin the COVID-19 vaccination drive on January 16. A meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was held, wherein they discussed and decided on a vaccination procedure based on the situation in India.
PM Modi called this a “landmark step” in the fight against Covid. Stage one of the process will focus on the frontline workers, doctors, medical experts. Under this stage, the sanitation workers including sanitation inspectors, cleaners, etc will also be vaccinated.
“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,” confirmed PM Modi on Twitter.
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. https://t.co/P5Arw64wVt— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 9, 2021
Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said that one crore healthcare workers and around two crore frontline workers will be vaccinated for free. Apart from this, the vaccination procedure for 27 crore priority beneficiaries is being discussed. The other 27 crore will most likely be vaccinated till July.
Under stage-one, the government plans to provide vaccine to around 30 crore people. After stage one, the next stage will have people above the age of 50 being vaccinated. Lastly it will be people under 50.
The country saw a drop in cases this year. In September last year, it was 98,000 cases a day which went down to 20,000 new cases per day as of January 2021. There are currently 2,24,190 active cases in India, but with a high recovery rate. More than 1 crore people have recovered from COVID in India.
India has a large population and in second position for covid caseload. To facilitate the vaccination drive in the country, the government will be using its CoWIN app. The app will have all the details regarding availability of vaccines and people who were vaccinated so far. The app will be launched soon.
In the first week of January, Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) provided Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to two vaccines in India. Covishield by Oxford-AstraZeneca and manufactured by Serum Institute of India and Covaxin by Bharat Biotech.
States are making necessary arrangements in order to provide free vaccines to its people. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee confirmed that the state government is making arrangements to facilitate the immunization process and provide COVID-19 vaccine to all the people, free of cost.
Earlier similar decisions were made in states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh.