Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan
Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan
PTI File Photo

Ahead of the much-awaited COVID-19 vaccination drive, that will kick-off on January 16, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has said that is imperative to maintain "COVID-19 appropriate behavior" before and after one gets vaccinated.

This is necessary since the inoculation effect takes 14 days to develop after the administration of the two dosages.

Speaking on the preparedness for the COVID-19 vaccination drive, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said, "In the first phase of vaccination, approximately 1 crore health care workers, approximately 2 crore front line workers and around 27 crore prioritized age-groups will be vaccinated. The cost of vaccination of health care workers and front line workers will be borne by central government solely," he said.

The inoculation effect takes 14 days to develop after the administration of the two dosages. Hence it is imperative to maintain COVID-19 appropriate behavior before and after one gets vaccinated, Bhushan added.

He said that all preparations are on track for COVID-19 vaccine roll out from January 16.

"A total of 26 virtual meetings/training were held with states/UTs, 2,360 master trainers, 61,000 programme managers, 2 lakh vaccinators, 3.7 lakh other vaccination team members have been trained so far," the health secretary said, adding that it will be a sequential roll-out of COVID-19 vaccination as the vaccine will be available in a limited quantity.

Vaccines have already reached some states. Till 4 PM, about 54,72,000 doses were received by the states and Union Territories. By January 14, 100 per cent doses will be received.

On January 3, two vaccines -- Bharat Biotech's Covaxin and Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield manufactured by the Serum Institute of India -- were approved for 'restricted emergency use'. Few more vaccines are in the pipeline and are conducting trials.

'Covishield' is developed by the Oxford University and British-Swedish company AstraZeneca and manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII).

Bharat Biotech has developed the indigenous vaccine 'Covaxin' in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research and the National Institute of Virology.

(With inputs from agencies)

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