New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will virtually launch the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive on January 16 at 10.30 am, said the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), adding that a total of 3,006 session sites across all states and union territories (UTs) will be virtually connected during the launch. 

It is expected that the Prime Minister will also interact with healthcare staff and frontline workers across the country on Saturday who will be receiving the shots on the first day of world's largest inoculation drive against COVID-19.

PM Modi will also launch the Co-WIN (COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network) App on Saturday, a digital platform created by the Union Health Ministry for real-time monitoring of COVID-19 vaccine delivery and distribution.

Around three lakh healthcare workers will get vaccine shots at 2,934 sites across the country on the first day of the massive nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive, a senior official said. Each vaccination session will cater to a maximum of 100 beneficiaries, they added.

According to the guidelines issued to the shortlisted vaccination centres, healthcare workers (those registered in Co-WIN to be vaccinated) on the launch shall include not only doctors, nurses but also nursing orderlies, safai karamcharis, ambulance drivers, and would be from a mixed age group, including above 50 years.

The full initial procurement of 1.65 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines - Covishield and Covaxin-- has been allocated to all states and UTs in proportion to their healthcare workers database.

"Therefore, there is no question of discrimination against any State in allocation of vaccination doses. This is the initial lot of supply of vaccine doses and would be continuously replenished in the weeks to come. Therefore, any apprehension being expressed on account of deficient supply is totally baseless and unfounded," the ministry said on Thursday.

States have been advised to organize vaccination sessions taking into account 10 per cent reserve/wastage doses and an average of 100 vaccinations per session per day.

Therefore, any undue haste on the parts of the states to organise unreasonable numbers of vaccination per site per day is not advised, the ministry had said on Wednesday.

The states and UTs have also been advised to increase the number of vaccination session sites that would be operational every day in a progressive manner as the vaccination process stabilizes and moves forward.

According to the government, the shots will be offered first to an estimated one crore healthcare workers, and around two crore frontline workers, and then to persons above 50 years of age, followed by persons younger than 50 years of age with associated comorbidities.

Cost of vaccination of healthcare and frontline workers will be borne by the central government.

(With PTI Inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma