Covid-19 vaccine: Centre asks states to submit lists of priority population by October end
The Union health ministry has asked states to submit lists of priority population who will receive Covid-19 vaccine first by October end, minister Harsh Vardhan has said. Priority population refers to those who are at a higher risk of contracting the virus than others. The government is working round the clock to chart out a mechanism of step-by-step vaccine distribution, once they are ready, the minister said, addressing his weekly programme Sunday Samvaad.
“Our government is working round the clock to ensure there is a fair and equitable distribution of the vaccines once they are ready. Just like everywhere else in the world, our government’s utmost priority is to ensure vaccine for each and every person in the country. There is a high-level expert committee looking into all aspects of vaccines,” the minister said.
“The ministry is preparing a format in which the state will provide list of priority population to receive vaccines, especially frontline health care workers. We have set a realistic deadline of October end to complete this humongous exercise. States are also being closely guided to submit details of cold-chain facilities and other infrastructure. Our rough estimate and target would be to receive and utilise 400-500 million doses for 20 crore people by July 2021. All this is under various stages of finalisation,” Harsh Vardhan said.
The concept of priority population exists across the world. While the older people are at a greater risk of Covid-19, those who are engaged in handling Covid-19 patients also fall under this priority population. China and Russia have started giving vaccine shots to its people. Reports said China is vaccinating government staff, teachers, supermarket employees, border workers apart from doctors and other health care professionals.
Russian journalists working for two state-owned media outlets will be offered Sputnik V, reports said.
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