Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination drive on Saturday, a top official said on Thursday. Some 3 lakh people will receive shots on the first day, VK Paul, member of plan body NITI Aayog said while quoted by NDTV.
“PM Modi will be beginning the vaccination program. The details are being worked out,” Mr Paul said on the launch of one of the world’s largest vaccination programmes two days later.
The vaccination drive will begin with 3,000 sites on Saturday. Each centre will inoculate 100 people a day to begin with.
Paul stated “As the program progresses, it will be ramped up to 5,000 sites and more.”
The government aims to vaccinate 300 million high-risk people over the next few months, he added.
The first to get the shots will be 30 million health and other frontline workers, followed by about 270 million 50-plus people.
“Vaccines have been allotted to states as per their healthcare workers data. Healthcare workers need not worry, I assure them. They should be the role model,” Mr Paul said.
Reports suggest PM Modi will virtually interact with health workers in some cities after launching the drive.
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.
The government has bought 110 lakh doses of Covishield at Rs. 200 per dose (excluding taxes) to start with. 55 lakh doses of Covaxin have also been procured.