PM Modi
PM Modi
File Photo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the pan-India COVID-19 vaccination drive tomorrow (January 16) at 10:30 am via video conferencing.

A total of 3,006 sites across all states and union territories will be virtually connected during the launch. Around 100 beneficiaries will be vaccinated at each site on the inaugural day, informed the Prime Minster's Office (PMO).

"This vaccination programme is based on the principles of priority groups to be vaccinated and Health Care workers, both in government and private sectors including ICDS workers, will receive the vaccine during this phase," PMO added.

"The vaccination programme will use Co-WIN, an online digital platform developed by Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, which will facilitate real time information of vaccine stocks, storage temperature and individualized tracking of beneficiaries for COVID-19 vaccine. This digital platform will assist programme managers across all levels while conducting vaccination sessions," it further said.

Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan today reviewed preparations for the launch of the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive. He visited the dedicated COVID control room set up at the Nirman Bhawan premises of the health ministry.

Vardhan said India's exercise to vaccinate its population against COVID-19 shall be the largest immunisation drive of the world. He reiterated that both the indigenously manufactured vaccines, Covishield by Serum Institute of India and COVAXIN of Bharat Biotech, have proven safety and immunogenicity records and are the most important tools to contain the pandemic.

During his visit to the COVID control room, Vardhan minutely scrutinised each aspect of the working of Co-WIN, an online digital platform developed by the health ministry which will be used to drive the vaccination programme. It will facilitate real time information of vaccine stocks, storage temperature and individualised tracking of beneficiaries for COVID-19 vaccine. This digital platform will assist programme managers across national, state, and district levels while conducting vaccination sessions. It will help them track beneficiary coverage, beneficiary dropouts, sessions planned v/s sessions held and vaccine utilisation, the ministry stated.

He also reviewed the beneficiary registration page for all non-prioritised groups on CoWIN. He suggested pre-populating the software with beneficiaries by seeding it with electoral database, in addition to other documents that are authorised for registration.

"The dedicated COVID Control Room has been involved in the massive exercise of monitoring district wise COVID-19 data from across the country as well as in depth analysis of the data to interpret and evaluate the status of the pandemic. For the last several months, through this dedicated control room, the government has been closely monitoring parameters such as case fatality rates, infection rates, death rates and other parameters based on which containment strategies have been continuously evolved," the ministry said.

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.

(With PTI inputs)

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