States are likely to take a break from the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive on January 26-27, based on instruction from the Union Health Ministry, The Economic Times reported.
According to the news report, the health ministry has asked states to not plan any vaccination sessions on Republic Day. The break may be extended by a day in some bigger states.
This break will be used by state authorities to check the COVID-19 vaccine stockpile and review their database. They will check how many beneficiaries missed getting the first dose.
A senior health ministry official, who asked not to be identified, told the newspaper that this break would be used to strategise how to cover the remaining beneficiaries over the next two weeks. “The states would plan their sessions, increase session sites and gauge their stockpile of vaccines in this time,” the official added.
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The second batch of Serum Institute of India (SII)’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin vaccines will also reportedly reach some states during these two days.
Around 10.4 lakh beneficiaries have been given at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine since the drive started on January 16.
Priority is being given to healthcare and frontline workers, who had already been registered on the purpose-built CoWIN application. This would be sequentially followed by people with comorbidities, senior citizens and finally, the general public. The Centre is hoping to vaccinate 30 crore people by July, in a bid to stop the novel coronavirus pandemic.
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As of January 22, India had reported more than 1.06 crore confirmed COVID-19 cases. The death toll from the outbreak in the country stood at over 1.53 lakh. While more than 1.02 crore patients had recovered, 1.88 lakh cases remained ‘active’. Globally, more than 9.76 crore individuals have been infected by the virus and over 20.97 lakh people have died so far.
A speedy rollout of vaccines is being seen as the best way to curb the spread of COVID-19 and restore normalcy in the pandemic-battered global economy. Several countries have already vaccinated a significant number of people from high-risk groups.Click here for Moneycontrol’s full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic