Prime Minister Narendra Modi, launched India’s COVID-19 vaccination drive on 16th January, the world’s largest immunization exercise against the novel coronavirus.
Over the week, 1.65 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Serum Institute of India(Covishield) and Bharat Biotech(Covaxin) were shipped out to all states. Vaccination began in India with a health worker from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences(AIIMS) becoming the first person in the country to get the vaccine. AIIMS Director Dr. Randeep Guleria also received the vaccine shot at AIIMS, Delhi.
First Shot Vaccine to Frontline Workers:
PM Modi, addressing through video conferencing, paid tribute to Indian frontline workers and scientists. Looking back at the time when the pandemic broke out, he recollected the heart-wrenching moments when many could not even perform last rites for their loved ones and virus-infected people were separated from their families.
He said the vaccine will be available to those who need it the most in the first place. Because the doctors, nurses, paramedical staff, sanitization workers, ambulance drivers, police and other frontline workers prioritised their duty over humanity and risked their lives by staying away from their families – the society is in a way paying them back.
The two approved vaccines from Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech, are for restricted use in emergency situations, though they’re proved to be harmless. These vaccines are capable of creating an immune response in the body but there is no data that shows the vaccine protects people from preventing the disease. India will administer vaccine shots which will be given to around three crore frontline workers in phase one. Every recipient will need to receive two doses of the same vaccine, 28 days apart.
The cost incurred for the vaccination of healthcare and frontline workers will be borne by the Indian government.
PM Modi appreciated the collective efforts put in towards the development of not just one but two Made-in-India vaccines in such a short span to handle the emergency situations. “This is an evidence to the skills and talent of our scientists” said the PM. He also emphasized that these vaccines are relatively cheaper than other global vaccines, which required stringent conditions for storage.
Giving India a new motto – “Dawai bhi, Kadaai bhi (Vaccine as well as discipline)” – PM Modi also cautioned that even after vaccination, citizens must be alert and maintain all precautions against the virus, including masks and social distancing.
A mobile application named CoWIN is developed by the Indian government which will later be used to monitor the vaccination drive. The app isn’t yet released, but once launched it lets people register for the vaccination through the application.
Once the application is launched, it’ll provide three options for registration – self-registration, individual registration (an official would help by uploading data) and bulk upload.
While the rollout of inoculation has begun today, it will be months before the vaccine will be available at a pharmacy store near you. Any other queries related to the COVID-19 and the vaccination, a 24×7 hotline – 1075 is already at service to deal with all the queries.