NEW DELHI: The central government has planned to inoculate around 3 lakh healthcare workers at 2934 session sites on the first day of the world’s biggest vaccination COVID-19 drive that begins from January 16 across India.
“This is the biggest vaccination drive in India so far and it has been decided to vaccinate about 300 lakhs healthcare workers at 2934 sites,” a senior government official said on Wednesday.
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Two COVID-19 vaccines -Covishield and Covaxin- have been given Emergency Use Authorisation in the country after going through established safety and immunogenicity through a well prescribed regulatory process.
These vaccines may cost in the range of Rs 200 to 295 in the country.
Earlier in the day, the health ministry said that full initial procurement amount of 1.65 crore doses of Covishield and Covaxin vaccines have been allocated to all states and Union Territories was done in proportion of Health Care Workers database.
The Ministry said that an initial lot of supply of vaccine doses would be continuously replenished in the weeks to come.
According to the Health Ministry, the states and union territories have also been advised to increase the number of vaccination session sites that would be operational every day in a progressive manner as the vaccination process stabilizes.
On Tuesday, union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan said: “All preparations are on track for the COVID-19 vaccine roll out from January 16. A total of 26 virtual meetings/training held with States/UTs, 2360 Master Trainers, 61,000 Programme Managers, 2 lakh Vaccinators, 3.7 lakh other Vaccination Team Members have been trained so far.”
The health secretary said that there will be a sequential roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccination drive as the vaccine will be available in a limited quantity.
“In the first phase of vaccination, approximately one crore Health Care Workers (HCWs), approximately two crore front line workers and around 27 crore prioritized age-groups will be vaccinated. The cost of vaccination of Health Care Workers and front line Workers will be solely borne by the Central government,” he added,
Bhushan said that the vaccine consignments will first reach four Gross Medical Store Depots (GMSDs) at Karnal in Haryana, Kolkata in West Bengal, Chennai in Tamil Nadu and Mumbai in Maharashtra.
“All states have at least one state-level regional temperature-controlled vaccine store. Uttar Pradesh has nine, Madhya Pradesh has four, Gujarat has four, Kerala has three, Jammu and Kashmir has two, Karnataka has two and Rajasthan has two stores. These states will receive the vaccine from manufacturers and the government will be responsible for take it cold chain,” he said.
On Wednesday, Bharat Biotech announced the successful air-shipment of its vaccine Covaxin to 11 cities in India. Bharat Biotech has also donated 16.5 lakh doses to the Government of India.
After having received the government purchase order for 55 lakh doses, Bharat Biotech shipped the first batch of vaccines (each vial containing 20 doses) to Ganavaram, Guwahati, Patna, Delhi, Kurukshetra, Bangalore, Pune, Bhubaneswar, Jaipur, Chennai and Lucknow. While some shipments have arrived in the respective cities, others will be delivered later this evening.