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COVID-19 vaccination drive to kick off on January 16, says government

Priority will be given to the healthcare and frontline workers, estimated to be around 3 crore in number, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has said on January 9.

January 10, 2021 / 07:09 AM IST

The COVID-19 vaccination drive will kick off across the country on January 16.

The roll-out of COVID-19 vaccine will provide priority to the healthcare workers and the frontline workers who are estimated to be around 3 crore, followed by those above 50 years of age and the under-50 population groups with co-morbidities numbering around 27 crore, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) said on January 9.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also said that during this drive, priority will be given to our brave doctors, healthcare workers, frontline workers including Safai Karamcharis.

"After the detailed review, it was decided that in view of the forthcoming festivals including Lohri, Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Magh Bihu etc., the COVID19 vaccination will start from 16th January 2021," MoHFW said in a statement.

The third dry run was conducted on January 8 across 615 districts covering 4895 session sites in 33 States and Union Territories.


COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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The government, in the first phase of vaccination, is aiming to inoculate 30 crore people from the priority groups like frontline health workers, elderly people and those with comorbidities. However, the first to be inoculated will be frontline workers and healthcare professionals. 

first published: Jan 9, 2021 04:30 pm

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