A three-day national immunisation drive for polio will begin in the country on January 17, said Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Friday.
"Three-day national immunisation drive for polio will begin on January 17. This is essential to maintain the overall immunity level of our country particularly pertaining to polio," said the minister after his visit to the session site in Government General Hospital in Chennai to review the second dry run for coronavirus vaccination on Friday.
Talking about the COVID-19 vaccination, Harsh Vardhan said the vaccination should start in the country in the next few days and requested the NGOs working in the field of health to help in the smooth rollout of the process.
"In the next few days, in the near future, we should be able to give these vaccines to our countrymen. It will be given to our healthcare professional followed by frontline workers. I request the NGOs working in the field of health to help in the smooth conduct of the COVID-19 vaccination programme and mobilisation of beneficiaries in the best possible manner," he stated.
"In the past year, government and social organisations, scientists, and medical practitioners showed exemplary performance in managing COVID-19 situation. India has the highest recovery rate and the lowest fatality rate. We started the journey with one testing lab and today we have around 2,300 labs in the country," the minister added further.
He said the government has ensured that every detail regarding vaccination is conveyed to the people from the national level to the grassroots level.
"On January 2, we did a dry run in almost 125 districts in the country. Today, we are doing it across the country except for the three states, which did it earlier... Lakhs of healthcare workers are being trained through these dry runs and the process to train more is still going on," Harsh Vardhan stated.
The minister is on a visit to Tamil Nadu to oversee the dry run drill for coronavirus vaccination.
The second nationwide mock drill on the COVID-19 vaccination is being held at three-session sites of 736 districts across 33 states/UTs today.
The dry run is aimed at testing the laid out mechanisms for COVID-19 vaccination roll-out in the health system. It will also help to assess the operational feasibility of using the Co-WIN application in a field environment for planning, implementation, and reporting at the block, district and state level.
According to the health ministry, the objective of the mock drill on COVID-19 vaccination is to simulate the actual vaccine administration event.
COVID-19 vaccines of Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech have been granted permission by Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for restricted use in an emergency situation.