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PM Narendra Modi to launch COVID-19 vaccination drive on January 16

Modi is also likely to launch the Co-WIN (COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network) App, a digital platform created for real-time monitoring of COVID-19 vaccine delivery and distribution, they said.

January 14, 2021 / 01:32 PM IST
PM Narendra Modi

PM Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the rollout of India's COVID-19 vaccination programme on January 16, the Union Health Ministry said on Thursday. He is likely to interact via video link with some healthcare workers from across the country who will be receiving the shots on the first day, according to sources.

Modi is also likely to launch the Co-WIN (COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network) App, a digital platform created for real-time monitoring of COVID-19 vaccine delivery and distribution, they said.

A limited number of sites out of the 2,934 inoculation sites have been shortlisted from where the beneficiaries can interact with the prime minister and the authorities in those centres have been asked to make provisions for IT infrastructure for providing a two-way interactive communication facility to enable it to link and interact with the national launch site through a video link, they said.

Officials at New Delhi's AIIMS and Safdarjung hospitals, which are among the shortlisted facilities, said they are "ready for a two-way communication".

Around three lakh healthcare workers will get vaccine shots at 2,934 sites across the country on the first day of the massive nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive, a senior official said.

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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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Each vaccination session will cater to a maximum of 100 beneficiaries.

According to the guidelines issued to the shortlisted vaccination centres, healthcare workers (those registered in Co-WIN to be vaccinated) on the launch shall include not only doctors, nurses but also nursing orderlies, safai karamcharis, ambulance drivers, and would be from a mixed age group, including above 50 years.

The full initial procurement of 1.65 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines - Covishield and Covaxin-- has been allocated to all states and UTs in proportion to their healthcare workers database.

"Therefore, there is no question of discrimination against any State in allocation of vaccination doses. This is the initial lot of supply of vaccine doses and would be continuously replenished in the weeks to come. Therefore, any apprehension being expressed on account of deficient supply is totally baseless and unfounded," the ministry said on Thursday.

States have been advised to organize vaccination sessions taking into account 10 per cent reserve/wastage doses and an average of 100 vaccinations per session per day.

Therefore, any undue haste on the parts of the states to organize unreasonable numbers of vaccination per site per day is not advised, the ministry had said on Wednesday.

The states and UTs have also been advised to increase the number of vaccination session sites that would be operational every day in a progressive manner as the vaccination process stabilizes and moves forward.

According to the government, the shots will be offered first to an estimated one crore healthcare workers, and around two crore frontline workers, and then to persons above 50 years of age, followed by persons younger than 50 years of age with associated comorbidities.

Cost of vaccination of healthcare and frontline workers will be borne by the central government.
PTI
first published: Jan 14, 2021 01:29 pm

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