New Delhi, January 9: COVID-19 vaccination drive in India will begin from January 16, 2021, said the government of India. Health workers and frontline workers will be given priority. The vaccine will be first offered to one crore healthcare workers, along with two crore frontline and essential workers, 27 crore elderly people, mostly above the age of 50 years. People under 50-years with comorbidities will also be vaccinated on priority.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting to review status of COVID-19 in the country along with preparedness of the States or UTs for COVID vaccination. The meeting was also chaired by Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to PM, Health Secretary, nd other senior officials. Second COVID-19 Vaccine Dry Run in All Districts Across India on January 8.

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PM Modi said, "On 16th January, India takes a landmark step forward in fighting COVID-19. Starting that day, India’s nation-wide vaccination drive begins. Priority will be given to our brave doctors, healthcare workers, frontline workers including Safai Karamcharis."

On January 3, two vaccines - Bharat Biotech's Covaxin and Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield manufactured by Serum Institute of India were approved for 'restricted emergency use'. Meanwhile, several other vaccines are in the pipeline and are conducting trials. COVID-19 Vaccine First Dose in India Likely by January 13, Says Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan.

Before the commencement of actual vaccination drive, India also conducted vaccination dry run. The first dummy drive was held on January 2 where only five districts had taken place. The second dry run was conducted on January 8 across the country. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan met the health ministers of states and Union Territories on Thursday and guided them on conducting the dry run.

The government has trained around 1.7 lakh vaccinators and 3 lakh vaccination team members for the process to be followed at the vaccination centres during the inoculation drive. The data of the dry run will be uploaded on Co-WIN software.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jan 09, 2021 04:45 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website