New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a crucial virtual meet with chief ministers and representatives of all states and union territories (UTs) on Monday ahead of the beginning of world's largest COVID-19 vaccination drive from January 16.

This will be PM Modi's first interaction with the CMs and representatives of all states and UTs since the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) approved Bharat Biotech's 'Covaxin' and Oxford-AstraZeneca's 'Covishield' for emergency authorisation use in India.

The Prime Minister has held several meeting with states and UTs since the beginning of coronavirus pandemic in March last year.

Also Read -- Coronavirus Vaccination: India officially gets its first COVID-19 vaccines | Who will be inoculated first and how

During his meeting on Monday, PM Modi will discuss the current COVID-19 situation across the country and how states and UTs have geared up for vaccination drive that will begin from January 16.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has informed that around 30 crore people will get a vaccine shot in the first phase of COVID-19 vaccination. It noted that priority will be given to healthcare staff, frontline workers, people above 50 and those under 50 with serious co-morbidities in the first phase of inoculation.

On Saturday, PM Modi had also held a meeting with top officials of all states and UTs to review the status of COVID-19 in the country. The meeting was attended by Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to PM, Health Secretary and other senior officials.

Also Read -- Covishield vs Covaxin: From efficacy to cost, a look at how India's 2 COVID-19 vaccines compare with each other

Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has informed that healthcare staff and frontline workers will be vaccinated for free across the country. Regarding the safety and efficacy of vaccines, he said that emergency approval to Covaxin and Covishield was given only after a through checking.

"India has finally built a state-of-the-art digital platform for COVID-19 vaccine delivery called CoWin. A critical part of our strategy involves maintaining confidence in the safety of vaccines in the possibility of adverse events following immunisation," he had said.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma