Ahead of Covid vaccine rollout, Centre postpones polio immunisation drive to Jan 31


The Centre on Thursday said it has rescheduled the anti-polio drive to January 31 in view of the nationwide Covid vaccine rollout on January 16. The Polio National Immunisation Day, which was earlier scheduled for January 17, has been defered to “ensure that Covid management and vaccination services, as well as non-Covid essential health services, proceed in tandem without adversely impacting each other”, the Union Ministry of Health and Welfare said.

“The massive countrywide Covid-19 vaccination drive will be rolled out by Hon’ble Prime Minister from 16th January, 2021. This would be world’s largest immunisation exercise. Therefore, it has been decided by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) in consultation with the office of the Hon’ble President of India to reschedule the Polio vaccination day, also known as the National Immunisation Day (NID) or “Polio Ravivar” to 31th January 2021 (Sunday),” the ministry said.

The ministry said the president will launch the Polio National Immunisation Day on January 30 by administering polio drops to children at the Rashtrapati Bhawan at 11.45 am.

India will launch its Covid-19 vaccination drive from January 16. In the initial phase, an estimated three crore healthcare and frontline workers will be vaccinated on priority. Healthcare workers and frontline workers will be followed by those above 50 years of age and those under-50 with co-morbidities — these number around 27 crore, the Health Ministry said.

India’s drug regulator has granted accelerated approval for two vaccines — Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield and Covaxin by Bharat Biotech and the ICMR, the latter vaccine in a controlled “clinical trial mode” given that its efficacy data is pending.

More than 79 lakh potential vaccine recipients have already been registered on the flagship Co-WIN IT platform, which will provide real-time information of vaccine stocks and will track individual recipients.

Meanwhile, batches of coronavirus vaccine were shipped to multiple parts across the country on Wednesday. From Assam to Goa and from Jammu and Kashmir to Kerala, the vaccines were carefully transported to different parts of the country.

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