Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi launches world's biggest Covid-19 vaccination drive
New Delhi, January 16: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched the world's biggest Covid-19 vaccination drive in the nation, which is one of the worst Novel Coronavirus-hit countries.
Modi launched the drive virtually as almost three crore health workers will be prioritised from the drive in its first phase.
A total of 3006 session sites across all states and union territories were connected for the launch.
Around 100 beneficiaries will be vaccinated at each session site on the inaugural day.
Lauding the scientists, Modi said, "All scientists who were engaged in making vaccines must be credited today. Vaccines take years to get developed but India made the Covid-19 vaccine in much less time."
Looking back at the time when India was rattled by the massive surge in Covid-19 cases, the PM said, "We had taken an important but tough decision to call lockdown. We cared about lives of people over economy."
The PM also requested people of his country to follow all Covid-19 norms even during and the vaccination drive.
"Covid-19 vaccination does not mean people should not follow the protocols. Usage of masks and maintainence of social distancing should continue," he added.
This vaccination programme is based on the principles of priority groups to be vaccinated and Health Care workers, both in government and private sectors including ICDS workers, will receive the vaccine during this phase.
The vaccination programme will use Co-WIN, an online digital platform developed by Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, which will facilitate real time information of vaccine stocks, storage temperature and individualised tracking of beneficiaries for Covid-19 vaccine.
This digital platform will assist programme managers across all levels while conducting vaccination sessions.
A dedicated 24x7 call centre – 1075 – has also been established for addressing the queries related to Covid-19 pandemic, vaccine rollout and the Co-WIN software.
Covishield and Covaxin are the two vaccines rolled out for an emergency use.
While Covishield has been made by the Serum Institute of India along with Oxford–AstraZeneca, Covaxin is an indigenous vaccine manufactured by Bharat Biotech.