New Delhi, Jan 9: India will launch its COVID-19 vaccination drive January 16 and priority will be given to nearly three crore health-care and frontline workers, the government said Saturday The decision was taken after Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the status of COVID-19 sit-uation and vaccine pre-paredness.
“After the detailed review, it was decided that in view of the forthcoming festivals including Lohri, Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Magh Bihu, etc, the COVID-19 vac-cination will start from January 16, 2021,” a gov-ernment statement said
. After healthcare and frontline workers, priority will be given to those above 50 years of age and the under-50 population groups with co-morbidities num-bering around 27 crore, it added. “Emergency Use Authorisation or Accelerated Approval has been granted by the National Regulator for two vaccines (Covishield and Covaxin) which have established safety and immunogenic-ity,” the government said.
Both vaccines are two-dose drugs, meaning they need two doses each to en-sure maximum protection against the virus
. On Tuesday the govern-ma said its CoWlN app (short for Covid Vaccine Intelligence Network) and its ecosystem would be used to manage the massive vaccination drive. — The app is yet to belaunched, but the government has said it will use Aadhaar numbers to authenticate vaccine beneficiaries.