During a high-level Covid-19 review meeting on Saturday, the Centre decided to begin the Covid-19 vaccination drive on January 16, 2021. Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired the meeting. The Cabinet Secretary, the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, the Health Secretary, and other senior officials also attended the meeting.
During the meeting, the Government of India said priority will be given to nearly three crore healthcare workers and the frontline workers, nearly 27 crore people above 50 years and below 50 years with comorbidities. PM Modi also reviewed the preparation of all States and Union Territories for the upcoming vaccination drive.
Earlier today, during the 16th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention, the Prime Minister said the country is ready to save humanity with two ‘Made in India’ Covid-19 vaccines – Serum Institute of India’s Covishield vaccine and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.
“Not only is the world awaiting the two Indian Covid-19 vaccines but are also closely watching on how India will conduct its vaccination drive,” Modi said. He also added that the country has become self-reliant from the lessons it has learnt during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, there is further delay in transporting Covishield vaccine from Pune. According to reports, the vaccine transportation was to begin on Thursday and then on Friday. However, the delay has been extended by 48 hours. SII rejected reports that the vaccine transportation is delayed due to price negotiations with the Centre.