The country’s mega vaccination drive against coronavirus will begin on Saturday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually giving it a start.
As per the sources around 3lakh frontline healthcare workers will be vaccinate at 2,934 sites across India on day one of the massive nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive, which is set to begin on 16January.
Each vaccination session will cater to a maximum of 100 beneficiaries and the Union Health Ministry has advised states not to organise “unreasonable numbers of vaccination per site per day”.
“States have been advised to organise vaccination sessions taking into account 10% reserve/wastage doses and an average of 100 vaccinations per session each day,” the health ministry said.
It also said that the states and Union Territories have also been advised to increase the number of Covid-19 vaccination session sites that would be operational every day in a progressive manner as the vaccination process stabilizes and moves forward.
The government on Tuesday hinted that vaccine recipients, for now, will not have the option to choose from the two vaccines Oxford COVID-19 vaccine, Covishield, manufactured by Serum Institute of India (SII) and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech that have been approved for restricted emergency use in India.
It is that all 1.65 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines — 1.1 crore of Covishield and 55 lakh of Covaxin — procured by the Centre have been allocated to all states and UTs in proportion to their healthcare workers database.
According to official sources, most of the 1.1 crore Covishield doses from Pune-based SII have been shipped to 60 consignee points across India from where they will be sent to smaller centres.
Of the 55 lakh doses of indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech ordered by the Centre, the first tranche of 2.4 lakh doses has been dispatched to 12 states.
Covaxin has been sent to 12 sites — one each in Ganavaram, Guwahati, Patna, Delhi, Kurukshetra, Bengaluru, Pune, Bhubaneswar, Jaipur, Chennai, Lucknow and Hyderabad, an official source said.
Covaxin has been developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
Health Ministry officials said that there will be a gap of 28 days between two doses of COVID-19 vaccines and its effectiveness can be seen only after 14 days, and urged people to keep following COVID appropriate behaviour.
Elaborating on the possible side-effects of the Covid-19 vaccine, Guleria said that as is true for other vaccines, some will have some degree of side effects in some individuals which could be in form of mild fever, pain at the site of injection, body ache, etc.
States have been asked to making arrangements to deal with any Covid-19 vaccine-related side effects as one of the measures towards safe vaccine delivery.