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The inoculation drive will start with 3,000 vaccination sites, which will be scaled up to 5,000 (PTI)
The inoculation drive will start with 3,000 vaccination sites, which will be scaled up to 5,000 (PTI)

Modi to roll out world’s largest immunization drive tomorrow

Around 300,000 persons will get covid-19 shot on the first day of the vaccination exercise, says govt

India will roll out the world’s largest immunization exercise when Prime Minister Narendra Modi launches a nationwide covid-19 vaccination drive on 16 January, the Union health ministry said on Thursday.

“The prime minister will launch the programme for which the details are being worked out. Around 300,000 persons will receive the vaccine on the first day of the immunization drive," said Dr V.K. Paul, member, health, NITI Aayog, the government’s policy think tank. The inoculation drive will start with 3,000 vaccination sites, which will be scaled up to 5,000, he said, adding that initially each centre will inoculate 100 people every day.

The vaccination programme will be key to containing the deadly disease in states such as Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Delhi, which continue to report a large number of cases. In the last 24 hours, 16,946 new covid-19 cases were reported in the country, with seven states and Union territories making up 76.45% of the cases.

Kerala reported the highest daily new cases at 6,004, followed by Maharashtra and Karnataka with 3,556 and 746, respectively, the health ministry said, adding 198 deaths were reported, with six states and UTs contributing 75.76% of fatalities. Maharashtra with 70, and Kerala and West Bengal with 26 and 18 deaths, respectively, topped the list, the ministry said.

Mumbai is creating a vaccine storage capacity of more than 10 million doses. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has formed 500 teams, each with two vaccinators, two support staff and one security guard. The teams will run the programme across eight centres to cater to 12,000 people every day, said a BMC official. Within a week, the capacity is expected to rise to 50,000 daily jabs, subject to availability of vaccines and the response of the recipient’s to their first doses. The BMC registered 130,000 health workers and around 200,000 frontline workers on the CoWin (Covid Vaccine Intelligence Network) app. Mumbai has received 139,500 doses, more than the 130,000 doses the state had requested for in the first phase.

Karnataka received 54 boxes of the vaccine, with 650,000 doses. The state will have 235 centres to administer the vaccine, government officials said. Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Thursday that the national capital received 274,000 doses, which will cater to around 120,000 healthcare workers in the first phase. Delhi has finalized 81 sites and each site will vaccinate 100 people per day. Around 8,000 healthcare workers will be vaccinated on the first day, he added. The vaccine will be administered on four days a week—Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday— while the remaining days will be for the routine vaccination process. Kejriwal also held a review meeting of the covid-19 vaccination roll-out plan of the Delhi government.

“We are starting with the vaccination process at 81 centres, which will be increased to 175 centres in the coming days. Around 1000 centres are being prepared across Delhi for the vaccination process. Every person will receive two doses, and the government gives 10% extra in case of any mishap. Around 240,000 healthcare workers were registered in Delhi. We hope we will receive the vaccine required for the remaining healthcare workers in the coming days," said Kejriwal.

Kalpana Pathak from Mumbai and Sharan Poovanna from Bengaluru contributed to this story

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