Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Monday meet chief ministers of all states and Union territories ahead of the rollout of the January 16 nationwide vaccination drive against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and review the pandemic situation in the country. The virtual meeting at 4pm comes days after the country’s drugs regulator approved restricted emergency use of two vaccines against Covid-10.
This will also be the Prime Minister’s first meeting after Oxford University-AstraZeneca’s vaccine, which is being manufactured by Serum Institute of India as Covishield, and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin were approved by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI).
The government plans to inoculate nearly 30 million healthcare and frontline workers in the first phase of vaccination. After which, those above 50 years of age and the under 50 population groups with co-morbidities will be given the jab.
PM Modi had tweeted about the people who will be inoculated on priority after the Centre’s announcement of the date. “On 16th January, India takes a landmark step forward in fighting COVID-19. Starting that day, India’s nation-wide vaccination drive begins. Priority will be given to our brave doctors, healthcare workers, frontline workers including Safai Karamcharis,” he had tweeted on Saturday.
The announcement of the rollout date came after the Prime Minister chaired a meeting on Saturday to review the status of the coronavirus pandemic in the country along with the preparedness of the states and Union Territories (UTs) for the vaccination drive.
“Being the pharmacy of the world, India has supplied important medicines to all those in need in the world in the past and is also doing so now. The world is not only waiting for Indian vaccines but is also watching how India runs the world biggest vaccination programme,” he had also said while addressing the 16th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention on Saturday.
India’s Covid-19 tally has risen to 10,450,284 and 150,999 people have succumbed to the coronavirus disease, according to the Union health ministry on Sunday.