India begins its COVID-19 vaccination drive — here’s a look at how the world’s largest vaccine rollout is set to take place

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India begins its COVID-19 vaccination drive — here’s a look at how the world’s largest vaccine rollout is set to take place
Covishield vaccineBCCL
  • On January 16, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the vaccination drive in the country virtually.
  • Over the week, 1.65 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech were shipped out to all states.
  • The Indian government also launched the Co-WIN app and a dedicated 24x7 hotline - 1075, to address all queries regarding the vaccination drive.
  • Here’s a look at how three crore healthcare and frontline workers are set to be vaccinated over the next few months.
After a year since the coronavirus pandemic began, claiming over 1.5 lakh lives in India, the moment we have all been waiting for is almost here. India is set to begin its massive COVID-19 vaccination drive on January 16, 2021. Over the week, 1.65 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech were shipped out to all states and the COVID-19 warriors – healthcare workers, essential workers are set to receive the first jab of the vaccine.

The cost of the vaccination of healthcare and frontline workers will be borne by the Indian government. The vaccines have been allotted to respective states and union territories based on the health workers' data.

On January 3, the two vaccines – Covishield and Covaxin, were approved for emergency use.

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While the rollout is set to begin in 24 hours, it will be months before the vaccine will be available at a pharmacy store near you.

VaccineManufacturerPer dose cost to governmentPrivate cost
Covishield Serum Institute of India₹200₹1,000 per vial
CovaxinBharat Biotech ₹206 Unannounced

Here’s a look at how three crore healthcare and frontline workers are set to be vaccinated over the next few months

PM Modi to launch the vaccine rollout


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On January 16, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to virtually kick off the vaccination drive in the country.

Who will get the vaccine first in India?


Phase 1 of the Indian government’s plan for vaccine distribution:
PriorityCategoryPopulation
1Health care workers1 crore
2Frontline workers2 crore
3People above 50 years of age26 crore
4People below 50 years of age with chronic illness1 crore

India’s Ministry of Health has sent states and union territories (UTs) guidelines on managing the massive challenge for distributing the vaccine across the seventh-largest country in the world with the second-largest population.
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Three lakh healthcare workers to be vaccinated on day 1



Staying true to its promise, the Indian government has said healthcare workers will be vaccinated first along with other essential workers. On the first day of the vaccination drive, over three lakh healthcare officials are set to be vaccinated. In Delhi alone, 8,000 workers will be vaccinated each day.

Here’s how Delhi has planned the vaccination drive.
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There are a total of 3,000 sites for vaccination currently, while it is expected to go upto 5,000 in the next few weeks. Each vaccination site will have five team members and one vaccinator.

Hotline and an app to coordinate the drive



The Indian government is set to launch the Co-WIN app and a dedicated 24x7 hotline - 1075, to address all queries regarding the vaccination drive.
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People will have to register through Co-WIN to avail the vaccine. Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said that registering through CoWin is mandatory and the QR code-based vaccination certificate will only be generated for registered Covid-19 vaccine beneficiaries.

The Health Ministry has issued guidelines for the vaccination drive



The Indian government has released a list of Dos and Don’ts for the COVID-19 vaccine.
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  • The vaccine will be administered to people above 18 years of age.
  • Pregnant women, lactating mothers and those unsure of pregnancy have been advised to avoid the vaccination shot.
  • The vaccines are not interchangeable. Both the vaccine doses have to be administered from the same manufacturer.
  • The time duration between the two doses of the vaccine is 14 days.
People with a history of an allergic reaction to a previous dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, who have an immediate allergic reaction to vaccines or injectable therapies, pharmaceutical products, and food items will also not be given the vaccine.

Potential side effects of the vaccine



The government has also released a list of side effects that could happen after you take a shot.

With the Covishield vaccine, mild adverse impacts could be headache, fatigue, myalgia (pain in muscle), injection site tenderness, malaise (weakness), pyrexia, chills, arthralgia, and nausea.
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For Covaxin, use of chloroquine and corticosteroids may impair antibody response. In addition, some mild symptoms like injection site pain, headache, fatigue, fever, body ache, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, giddiness-dizziness, tremor, sweating, cold, cough and injection site sweating may occur.

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