Headlines December 10, 2020
300 million people may get Covid vaccine at the same time, says Centre
Healthcare workers, frontline workers, and those at the highest risk of dying from coronavirus disease like people over the age of 50 or patients with co-morbidities are the three priority groups who have been recommended to receive the vaccine by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC).
Vaccination across the priority groups will take place at the same time depending on the availability of doses, according to the Union Health Ministry.
“These are the recommendations of NEGVAC and the government has to take a decision based on it. The immunisation process across the groups will not be sequential; it can also happen simultaneously depending upon the availability of vaccine,” said Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan.
As per health ministry estimates, there are around 10 million healthcare workers, 20 million frontline workers, including the police and the army, and another 270 million people either above the age of 50 or with co-morbidities.
State, district and block-level structures have already been created to ensure a smooth delivery of the vaccine till the last mile.
There are 28,947 cold chain points where the vaccines and syringes are stored. “These are adequate for storing the existing vaccines for the universal immunisation programme and another 3 crore vaccine doses for the first phase of vaccination,” said Bhushan.