Prime Minister reviews status of COVID-19 and preparedness for COVID19 vaccination; Vaccination drive to kick off on 16th January, 2021

New Delhi: The Prime Minister chaired a high-level meeting to review the status of COVID-19 in the country along with the preparedness of the State/UTs for COVID vaccination, today. Meeting was attended by Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to PM, Health Secretary, and other senior officials concerned.

The Prime Minister took a detailed and comprehensive review of status of COVID management covering various issues. Emergency Use Authorisation or Accelerated Approval has been granted by the National Regulator for two vaccines (Covishield and Covaxin) which have established safety & immunogenicity.

The Hon’ble PM was also briefed about the preparedness status of the Centre in close collaboration with the State and UT governments for roll out of the vaccine in the near future. The vaccination exercise in underpinned by the principles of people’s participation (Jan Bhagidari); utilizing experience of elections (booth strategy) and Universal Immunization Program (UIP); no compromise of existing healthcare services, especially national programs and primary health care; no compromise on scientific and regulatory norms, other SOPs; and an orderly and smooth implementation driven by technology.

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 cr, followed by those above 50 years of age and the under-50 population groups with co-morbidities numbering around 27 cr.

The Prime Minister was also apprised about the Co-WIN Vaccine Delivery Management System. The unique digital platform will provide real time information of vaccine stocks, their storage temperature and individualized tracking of beneficiaries of the COVID-19 vaccine. This platform will assist the program managers across all levels through automated session allocation for pre-registered beneficiaries, their verification and for generating a digital certificate upon successful completion of the vaccine schedule. More than 79 lakh beneficiaries have been already registered on the platform.

As the vaccinators and vaccine administrators comprise a crucial pillar of the vaccination exercise, their training process was detailed out. 2,360 participants were trained during national level Training of Trainers which comprised state immunization officers, cold chain officers, IEC officials, development partners etc. More than 61,000 programme managers, 2 lakh vaccinators and 3.7 lakh other vaccination team members have been trained so far as part of trainings at States, Districts and Block levels.

The Prime Minister was also apprised on the three phases of dry runs having been conducted across the country. The third dry run was conducted yesterday across 615 districts covering 4895 session sites in 33 States/UTs.

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.