Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the nationwide Covid vaccination drive on January 16, the Union government said on Thursday. He is likely to interact via video link with some healthcare workers on the first day.
The vaccination drive will begin with 3,000 sites on Saturday. Each centre will inoculate 100 people a day initially. Nearly three lakh healthcare workers will get vaccine shots across the country during the day.
Modi is also likely to launch the Co-WIN (Covid Vaccine Intelligence Network) App, a digital platform created for real-time monitoring of Covid-19 vaccine delivery and distribution, they said.
A limited number of sites out of the 2,934 inoculation sites have been shortlisted from where the beneficiaries can interact with the prime minister and the authorities in those centres have been asked to make provisions for IT infrastructure for providing a two-way interactive communication facility to enable it to link and interact with the national launch site through a video link, they said.
Officials at New Delhi’s AIIMS and Safdarjung hospitals, which are among the shortlisted facilities, said they are “ready for a two-way communication”.
Batches of Covishield, the Oxford vaccine being manufactured by Serum Institute of India, and Bharat Biotech’s homegrown Covaxin, have been flown to 12 cities for the first phase of vaccination.
Minister blocks road, vaccine vehicle held up
Meanwhile, in East Burdwan in West Bengal, a special vehicle carrying Covid-19 vaccines got held up on Wednesday due to a blockade of the national highway led by state minister Siddiqullah Chowdhury, protesting against the new farm laws, sources said.
East Burdwan superintendent of police Bhaskar Mukhopadhyay said that the vaccine-carrying insulated van was diverted over a distance of five km through a village owing to the blockade of the national highway, connecting Kolkata and New Delhi, at the Galsi area.
The delay in the movement of the vehicle was for the time taken to cover the five km distance through the village, he said.