New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Ahead of the beginning COVID-19 inoculation drive from January 16, the central government on Thursday rescheduled the National Immunisation Day from January 17 to January 31. It also informed that President Ram Nath Kovind will launch the National Immunisation Day by administering polio drops to children at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on January 30.

"In view of this world's largest (Covid-19) immunisation exercise, it has been decided by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in consultation with the office of the President of India to reschedule the Polio vaccination day, also known as National Immunisation Day (NID) or 'Polio Ravivar' to January 31, 2021 (Sunday)," the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.

The polio vaccination takes place every year in January across the country. Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan had said on January 8 that polio immunisation will be carried out on January 17, adding that it is very essential to ensure that the nation maintained overall immunity levels against polio virus.

"We have decided that on January 17, we are going to have our national immunisation days for polio which will run for two to three days," he had said while adding the drive covered aspects like identifying and immunising children left out from vaccination.

Meanwhile, the country will launch its COVID-19 vaccination drive from January 16 in what Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called the world's largest inoculation programme with priority to be given to nearly three crore healthcare and frontline workers.

According to the COVID-19 Vaccine Operational Guidelines issued to states for the immunisation drive by the health ministry, the COVID-19 vaccine will be offered first to healthcare workers, and frontline workers and then to persons above 50 years of age, followed by persons younger than 50 years of age with associated comorbidities based on evolving pandemic situation.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma