PM Modi to meet chief ministers today over Covid-19 vaccine rollout
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Monday chair a meeting of the chief ministers of states and union territories ahead of the rollout of nationwide Covid-19 vaccination. The Prime Minister will review the Covid-19 situation in states.
The meeting is expected to take place at 4 pm on Monday. This will be PM Modi's first interaction with chief ministers following the recent approval of two coronavirus vaccines for restricted emergency use by India's drug regulator.
The decision to start the vaccination programme from January 16 was take at a high-level meeting chaired by PM Modi on Saturday. The date was decided keeping in view a number of festivals like Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Bihu etc.
The government has said that two crore healthcare workers and about one crore frontline workers, engaged in the fight against the pandemic, will be the first to be inoculated.
After vaccinating healthcare and frontline workers, priority will be given to those above 50 years of age and the under-50 population groups with co-morbidities, together numbering around 27 crore, according to a government statement.
PM Modi has called it the world's largest inoculation programme. He had earlier said that India is among the nations with the lowest fatality rate and the highest recovery rate.
"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 said while addressing the 16th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention on Saturday.
The Centre has undertaken three rounds of nationwide dry runs to prepare for vaccination. The Union health ministry organised these dry runs in coordination with state health departments and ministries to prepare authorities for vaccination and find out loopholes before the inoculation begins officially.
A vital part of the dry run was the Co-WIN application, an online platform for monitoring COVID-19 vaccine delivery. Lakhs of healthcare officials have uploaded their details on the software, which has not been officially launched yet.
The Centre said on Sunday that Co-WIN shall form the foundation for the anti-coronavirus inoculation drive which shall be citizen-centric so that the vaccine is available anytime and anywhere.
The health ministry identified the weak areas and asked the state authorities to work on them so that the vaccination can be conducted smoothly. In a virtual meeting on Sunday, the health ministry discussed feedback on the Co-WIN software and its operational use gathered from the vaccination dry runs with state health authorities.
India had recently granted emergency use authorisation to two vaccines - Oxford's Covishield being manufactured by Serum Institute in India (SII) and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin. Both vaccines, the statement from the health ministry said, have established safety and immunogenicity.