New Delhi:The anti-COVID vaccination drive will start on January 16 coinciding with the festivals of Lohri, Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Magh Bihu.
This was decided at a high-level meeting here on Saturday chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review the status of COVID-19 in the country along with preparedness of states/Union Territories (UTs) for the vaccination drive. The meeting was attended by the Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Health Secretary and other senior officials, an official statement said.
'On 16th January India takes a landmark step forward in fighting COVID-19. Starting that day, India's nationwide vaccination drive begins. Priority will be given to our brave doctors, healthcare workers, frontline workers including Safai karamcharis,' the Prime Minister tweeted.
At the meeting the Prime Minister had a detailed and comprehensive review of 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 have established safety and immunogenicity.
The Prime Minister was also briefed about the preparedness status of the Centre in close collaboration with the state governments and UT administrations for roll out of the vaccine in the near future.
The vaccination exercise is underpinned by the principles of people's participation (Jan Bhagidari), utilizing experience of elections (booth strategy) and Universal Immunization Program (UIP), no compromise of existing healthcare services, especially national programmes and primary healthcare, no compromise on scientific and regulatory norms, other SOPs and an orderly and smooth implementation driven by technology.
Priority will be given to healthcare workers and frontline workers estimated to be around 3 crore, followed by those above 50 years of age and the under-50 population groups with co-morbidities numbering around 27 crore.
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. This platform will assist the programme 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 out. As many as 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, 2 lakh vaccinators and 3.7 lakh other vaccination team members have been trained so far as part of trainings at States, Districts and Block levels.
The Prime Minister was also apprised on the three phases of dry runs having been conducted across the country. The third dry run was conducted yesterday across 615 districts covering 4895 session sites in 33 states/UTs.(UNI)