New Delhi [India], January 16 (ANI): Final preparations are underway for the nationwide rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination drive, which will be launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today.
Billed as the world's largest vaccination program, covering the entire length and breadth of the country, the drive aims to first inoculate millions of its healthcare and frontline workers and reach an estimated 3 crore people by the end of its first phase.
A total of 3,006 session sites across all States and Union Territories will be virtually connected during the launch. Around 100 beneficiaries will be vaccinated at each session site on the inaugural day.
Several hospitals across the country have been decorated with flowers and balloons where people will be inoculated.
Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan will visit AIIMS Delhi to witness the launch of the vaccination programme.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will witness the launch of COVID-19 vaccination programme at Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital today. "Doctors, nursing and sanitation staff will be given vaccine today," said Suresh Kumar, Medical Director of the hospital.
BHU Hospital in Varanasi was decorated with balloons ahead of the Covid-19 vaccine drive. "Covid protocols will be strictly followed and vaccination will be administered to people in slots to avoid crowding," said Dr NP Singh, Additional CMO of BHU.
Preparations are also underway at the civil hospital in Amritsar.
In Telangana, Area Hospital, Nampally in Hyderabad has been decorated with flowers and balloons ahead of the start of the first phase of nation-wide COVID-19 vaccination drive.
Patna's Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS) has also been decorated.
Karnataka's Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute has also been decked up for the drive.
Over one crore people (1,05,27,683) have been infected with Covid-19 so far and the death toll is close to 1.52 lakh according to Friday's health ministry update. There are over 2.13 lakh active COVID-19 cases in India.
In the next phases of the vaccination drive, people aged over 50, and those who are below 50 years but have serious health conditions or co-morbidities will be vaccinated, according to the health ministry.Dry-runs have been held at vaccination centres across the country with lakhs of healthcare staff across districts being trained.The drugs regulatory body of India has currently approved two vaccines. Pune-based Serum Institute of India has developed the Covishield vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University. while the Covaxin has been developed by Hyderabad's Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Medical Council of research (ICMR) and National Institute of Virology.The vaccination programme in the country will use Co-WIN (Covid Vaccine Intelligence Work), an online digital platform developed by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, which will facilitate real-time information of vaccine stocks, storage temperature and individualized tracking of beneficiaries for COVID-19 vaccine. This digital platform will assist programme managers across all levels while conducting vaccination sessions.A dedicated 24x7 call centre - 1075 - has also been established foraddressing the queries related to Covid-19 pandemic, vaccine rollout and the Co-WIN software.The full initial procurement amount of 1.65 crore doses of Covishield and Covaxin vaccines against Covid-19 have been allocated to all States/UTs in the proportion of Health Care Workers database, the Union Health Ministry stated.
Most of the states have received the first batch of the coronavirus doses including Delhi which has received 2,74,000 doses of vaccine, followed by Maharashtra receiving over 9 lakh doses and Andhra Pradesh around with 4.7 lakh doses. (ANI)