India is set to commence its Covid-19 vaccination drive on January 16, the central government announced in a press release on Saturday. In its first phase, priority will be given to about 3 crore frontline workers, followed by around 27 crore people above the age of 50 and others with co-morbidities.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed this as a “landmark step” in India’s fight against the virus. Before this, India conducted two dummy vaccination drives to understand the best way to administer vaccines and detect any logistical loopholes in their distribution.
India’s drugs regulator recently approved Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and the indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country. Two dry runs of the vaccines have also been conducted across the country to understand the best way to administer them and plug loopholes in logistics and training.