Ahead Of Covid Vaccine Rollout, PM Modi Meeting Chief Ministers

Ahead Of Covid Vaccine Rollout, PM Modi Meeting Chief Ministers
New Delhi:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is holding an online meeting with Chief Ministers of all states to discuss the COVID-19 situation and the rollout of vaccines that has been scheduled for January 16. Two vaccines -- Serum Institute of India's Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin -- have been approved by the country's drugs regulator for rollout across the country. Starting next week, 30 crore people across the country will be vaccinated.

Sources in the Pune-based Serum Institute said government may place a purchase order for the vaccine today, at price of Rs 200 a vial.

The government has held three dry-runs for the vaccine already, two of them were held across the country.

The Prime Minister's meeting is meant to discuss the state's preparedness for the rollout of the vaccine.  

Last week, Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said an apparatus for the transportation of vaccines is already in place. "We consulted states and filled gaps to strengthen it for Covid-19 vaccine cold chain," he had said.

The government has said that one crore healthcare workers and about two crore frontline workers like the police, the civil defence personnel, will be the first to be inoculated. Next will be the turn of the people over 50 years and those below 50 who have comorbidities including diabetes, heart disease and other chronic health issues.

The total number of this third group will be 27 crore.

"Based on the quantity of doses, it is not possible to vaccinate all the people simultaneously. Hence, priority groups were decided," Dr Harsh Vardhan has said.

The aim is to vaccinate a critical mass of people that would create herd immunity and keep the virus at bay.