A day after the government declared it will immunise 30 crore people in the priority group for free, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Saturday (January 2) that in phase I, the free Covid vaccines will be given to three crore people, which includes 1 crore healthcare workers and 2 crore frontline workers.
“Details of how further 27 crore priority beneficiaries are to be vaccinated until July are being finalised (sic),” Dr Harsh Vardhan tweeted.
On Friday (January 1), a government-appointed committee sent Serum Institute of India’s ‘Covishield’ vaccine to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for a final nod.
“There should be no rumours about the vaccine’s safety…Everything has been checked in detail. Initially when the polio vaccine was rolled out, even then rumours had floated. But once it went on the floor, all people were assured about the safety,” Dr Harsh Vardhan told media persons during a vaccine dry run at a Delhi hospital on Saturday morning.
The coronavirus has affected over one crore people in the country and caused the death of 1.49 lakh citizens.
Meanwhile, select hospitals across the country conducted a dry run of vaccination on Saturday. The nationwide exercise is aimed at understanding the best way to administer the vaccine and plug loopholes in logistics and training, if any.
The first dry run was held in four states — Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, and Assam — earlier this week.
Here are the vaccine candidates in various stages of development: