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'Beginning of end of Covid-19': PM Modi to launch world's biggest vaccine drive today - key updates

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said politicians will not be considered frontline workers. (PTI)Premium
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said politicians will not be considered frontline workers. (PTI)

  • The vaccination drive will be launched by PM Modi soon, setting off the country on the path towards overcoming the Covid-19 pandemic
  • The Covid vaccination drive, covering the entire length and breadth of India, will inoculate 3 crore healthcare and frontline workers with two locally-manufactured shots

India begins one of the world's largest Covid-19 vaccination programme on Saturday, hoping to end a pandemic that has killed 1,51,918 people in the country and ravaged the economy.

The country's nationwide vaccination drive against the novel coronavirus will be launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at 10:30 am via video conferencing.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Friday christened the inaugural day of the coronavirus vaccination drive saying the step is "probably the beginning of the end" of Covid-19.

The Covid vaccination drive, covering the entire length and breadth of India, will inoculate 3 crore healthcare and frontline workers with two locally-manufactured shots.

Take a look at India's Covid vaccination drive:

1) Covid vaccines: More than 300,000 healthcare workers will be inoculated on day one of the long-awaited Covid-19 vaccination drive using vaccines developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca and the other one by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

2) Session sites: A total of 3,006 session sites or vaccination centres across various districts of all states and Union Territories will be virtually connected during the launch. Around 100 beneficiaries will be vaccinated at each session site.

3) Beneficiaries: The beneficiaries will not be able to choose between the Oxford vaccine and a Bharat Biotech vaccine, whose efficacy is not known. Both are being produced locally.

4) What PM Modi said: Taking to Twitter, PM Modi wrote: "Tomorrow, January 16, India begins the pan-India rollout of Covid-19 Vaccination drive. The launch will take place at 10:30 AM tomorrow morning." The Prime Minister had said that India would enter a "decisive phase" in the fight against the pandemic with vaccination drive. PM Modi has also said politicians will not be considered frontline workers.

5) Timing: The world's largest Covid-19 vaccination drive will be held daily from 9 am to 5 pm, except on the days earmarked for routine immunisation programmes.

6) Covid vaccination process: Each pre-registered beneficiary will visit the vaccination centres at the designated time and date. At the entrance, the people will confirm their appointment and produce their government identification document for confirmation. After verification, they will be registered at the centre and sent to the vaccination room where they will be administered the Covid-19 vaccine.

7) CoWIN app: The Central Government aims to manage the entire process digitally with its own app, CoWIN, which will link every vaccine dose to its recipient. This online digital platform will assist programme managers across all levels while conducting vaccination sessions.

8) Helpline: A dedicated 24x7 call centre - 1075 - has also been established for addressing the queries related to Covid-19 pandemic, vaccine rollout and the Co-WIN software.

9) 1st vaccine shot: As per reports, Jaipur's Sawai Man Singh (SMS) Medical College Principal Sudhir Bhandari will be the first person in Rajasthan to be given the Covid-19 vaccine jab, while in Madhya Pradesh, a hospital security guard and an attendant will be among the first to get the shot.

10) COVISHIELD vs COVAXIN: The Centre has bought 11 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVISHIELD vaccine, produced by the Serum Institute, and 5.5 million of Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN. COVISHIELD is 72% effective, as per the Indian DCGI, while Bharat Biotech says COVAXIN's last-stage trial results are expected by March.

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