Around 1.60 lakh health workers in Punjab will receive a COVID-19 vaccine in the first phase, Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said on Sunday.
Principal Secretary (Health) Hussan Lal said the data regarding 1.60 lakh healthcare workers have already been uploaded on the CoWin portal -- an online platform for monitoring the delivery of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Talking to reporters, the minister said, "...the vaccine which is coming will first be given to 1.60 lakh healthcare workers in the state."
Giving details of the vaccination process, Hussan Lal said that after health workers, the vaccine will be administered to around three lakh frontline workers, including policemen, paramilitary forces, sanitation workers, and disaster management volunteers.
Thereafter, the Principal Secretary (Health) said, people above 50 years and those aged below 50 with co-morbid conditions will be covered under the inoculation drive.
To a question on the timeframe of the vaccination drive, Hussan Lal said it will depend upon the availability of the vaccine.
He said the state has the capacity to administer 4 lakh vaccines in a day.
He further said that the state has around 4,000 trained vaccinators.
"If we get a large number of doses, then we can also use doctors, pharmacists, dental doctors and nurses as vaccinators," he said, adding that the state has enough storage capacity for the COVID-19 vaccine.
A state-level vaccine store has been set up in Chandigarh, officials said.
Punjab has already conducted a dry run for vaccination in Ludhiana and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar.
The mock drill of the distribution and administration of the COVID-19 vaccine was being conducted in Patiala on Sunday.
Punjab has so far witnessed 1.67 lakh coronavirus cases and 5,364 deaths.