Delhi became the first state today to announce its schedule for Covid-19 vaccination for health care workers, who will be inoculated in the phase 1 of the vaccination drive that will begin on January 16. “Health care workers will be vaccinated in the first phase only in hospitals,” Arvind Kejriwal’s government said today. Bengal said it would give the vaccine for free to everyone in the state. The Centre has announced January 16 as the day for rollout of the long-awaited vaccine, which got the drug regulators’ approval last Sunday. Here are the top 10 points in this big story:
The coronavirus vaccine will be administered in 89 sites in Delhi on January 16, said Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain. Of these 36 are government hospitals and 53 are private hospitals.
The vaccine will arrive in Delhi by January 12 or 13. The next round is likely to begin after all the healthcare workers are vaccinated.
Three lakh healthcare workers and six lakh frontline workers including the police and civil defence personnel will be vaccinated in Delhi in the first two rounds. Next will be the turn of 42 lakh people above the 50-year age group and those below with comorbidities like diabetes, heart ailments and other chronic conditions.
Karnataka said logistics are in place for the storage and distribution of the vaccine. Health Minister, Dr K Sudhakar said the state has two vaccines storage facilities in Bengaluru and Belagavi, besides five regional storage centres at Chitradurga, Kalburgi, Dakshina Kannada, Mysuru and Bagalakote.
In an open letter today, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said her state will provide free vaccine to all frontline workers, including the police, Home Guard, paramilitary personnel, correctional facilities and disaster management personnel.
Rajasthan Health Minister Raghu Sharma said the state expects to vaccinate around 4.5 lakh people in the first phase of vaccination. “So far, we have trained more than 18,000 people,” he added.
The vaccines, Oxford University’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, received emergency use approval from the Drug Controller of India last Sunday. Both are two-dose vaccines, which will have to be administered at a 28-day gap.
After the launch date announcement yesterday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “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 government will use its CoWIN (Covid Vaccine Intelligence Network) app to manage the massive vaccination drive. CoWIN will track the individual vaccine beneficiaries, more than 79 lakh of whom have been registered on the platform. It will also provide real-time information on vaccine stocks and storage temperatures. The app is yet to be launched.
The Centre has held three dry runs – two of them across the country — to test the vaccine delivery system across 4,895 sites in 33 states and union territories. The third dry-run was on Friday.