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Photo: ANI
Photo: ANI

Priority for frontline staff, vulnerable in vaccination plan

Vulnerable groups have to be identified and prioritized for early vaccination, PM says

NEW DELHI : Frontline corona warriors, including doctors, nurses, healthcare and non-medical workers, besides the vulnerable among the general population, will be prioritized for vaccination, as and when a covid-19 vaccine is available, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday, after chairing a high-level meeting to review the planning and preparation for the covid vaccination programme.

Modi said four guiding principles will form the foundation of the national effort. One, vulnerable groups have to be identified and prioritized for early vaccination. Two, “anyone, anywhere", without any domicile-related restrictions, will be eligible for vaccination. Three, vaccination must be affordable and universal, and no one should be left behind. And, four, the entire process from production to vaccination should be monitored in real time using technology.

The PM said vaccination of India’s vast and diverse population will need to factor in several issues, including the management of medical supply chains, prioritization of at-risk populations, coordination between agencies, and the participation of the private sector and the civil society.

Graphic: Mint
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Graphic: Mint

Modi directed officials to evaluate available technology solutions, which can form the backbone of the national endeavour to vaccinate all in the most efficient and timely manner. He said detailed planning for such a large-scale vaccination exercise should be initiated immediately.

The status of vaccine development efforts was also reviewed at the meeting, and the PM stressed on India’s commitment to play an enabling role in the efforts.

While efforts are on to find a vaccine for covid-19, globally, including in India, the country recorded 574,926 cases with the death tally at 17,038.

However, India’s recovery rate has improved significantly to nearly 60%. “While there are 217,663 active cases, all under active medical supervision, 340,225 patients have been cured and discharged. This has resulted in the recovery rate among covid-19 patients further improving to 59.07%. In the past 24 hours, 13,099 patients were cured," said the Union health ministry.

India now has 1,049 covid-19-dedicated diagnostic laboratories, including 761 government facilities, and 288 private labs. Testing has also been ramped up. As many as 210,292 samples were tested in the past 24 hours. As on Tuesday, 86,08,654 samples have been tested. The National Blood Transfusion Council has also issued its second interim guidance for conducting blood transfusions during the covid-19 pandemic.

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