The Prime Minister chaired a high-level meeting to review the state of COVID-19 in the country as well as the state / UT’s readiness for COVID vaccination, today. The meeting was attended by the Secretary to the Cabinet, the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, the Secretary of Health and other relevant senior officials.
The vaccination campaign will start on January 16, 2021. It will be held after the next festivals such as Lohri, Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Magh Bihu etc.
Priority will be given to health workers and frontline workers, estimated at around 3 crore, followed by people over 50 and under 50 with co-morbidities of around 27 crore.
The Prime Minister conducted a detailed and comprehensive review of the state of COVID management covering various issues. It should be noted that the Comptroller General of Medicines of India (DCGI) had granted on January 3 a restricted authorization for emergency use to the “Covishield” vaccine from the Serum Institute of India (SII) and to the “Covaxin” vaccine. by Bharat Biotech.
Covishield is over 70% effective, while Covaxin is currently in phase 3 trials, but is “safe and provides a robust immune response,” the drug regulator said last week.
Although the full effectiveness of Covaxin remains to be determined, it has been approved by the DCGI on the basis of “the public interest”. Covaxin is a vaccine developed locally by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council for Medical Research.
The Prime Minister was briefed on the Co-WIN vaccine administration management system. The unique digital platform will provide real-time information on vaccine stocks, their storage temperature and individualized monitoring of COVID-19 vaccine beneficiaries. This platform will help program managers at all levels with automated session assignment for pre-registered beneficiaries, their verification and the generation of a digital certificate once the immunization schedule is complete. More than 79 lakh beneficiaries have already been registered on the platform.
Modi was also briefed on the readiness of the Center working closely with state and UT governments for vaccine deployment in the near future. The vaccination exercise is based on the principles of people’s participation (Jan Bhagidari); use of election experience (stand strategy) and universal immunization program (UIP); no compromise on existing health services, especially national programs and primary health care; no compromise on scientific and regulatory standards, other SOPs; and orderly and smooth implementation through technology.