As India gears up to begin its COVID-19 vaccination drive from January 16, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday called the development a 'landmark step' in the nation's fight against COVID-19. PM Modi also reiterated that priority for the vaccination will be given to doctors, healthcare workers, and frontline workers including safai karamcharis.
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
Earlier in the day, PM Modi chaired a high-level meeting to review the status of COVID-19 in the country along with the preparedness of the State/UTs for COVID vaccination. The meeting was attended by Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to PM, Health Secretary, and other senior officials concerned. Thereafter, the Centre announced that the government was ready to begin its COVID-19 vaccination drive from January 16 after the forthcoming festivals of Lohri, Makar Sankranti, Pongal, etc. The government is yet to place an official order with COVISHIELD manufacturer - Serum Institute of India (SII), which has stocked 50 million doses for India.
"Vaccination drive to kick off on 16th January 2021. Priority will be given to the healthcare workers and the frontline workers, estimated to be around 3 cr, followed by those above 50 years and the under-50 population groups with co-morbidities numbering around 27 crore," said the Government in an official statement.
While beneficiary registration for the COVID vaccine is not required for health workers or other frontline workers, the general public can register for the COVID-19 vaccine on the Government's official -- 'Co-WIN' app. The Ministry of Health earlier in the day stated that the official Co-WIN app will be launched soon and will be adequately publicised to the general public with information on how to get registered for the COVID-19 vaccine. Meanwhile, it has asked users to stay away from apps seeming to emulate the Government's official app.