INDIA: India is going to start the world’s biggest immunization drive against COVID-19 today. In India, COVID-19 has so far infected more than ten million people and killed more than 152 thousand deaths. According to the reports, around 100 beneficiaries from the three crore priority group comprising healthcare and frontline works will be given the first shots of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The first phase will also see 2,900 cold chain points, 240 walk-in coolers, 70 walk-in freezers, 45,000 ice-lined refrigerators, 41,000 deep freezers, and 300 solar refrigerators become operational.
Detailed preparations have been carried out for the immunization drive. A technical support team from Delhi will be operating 24*7 to address any issues related to the flagship Co-WIN platform. The team will get real-time information regarding the vaccination drive, available stocks, storage temperature, and individualized tracking.
The experts will address everything from the technical glitches reported from vaccination sites to any adverse events. There is a designated ‘Adverse Event Following Immunisation Management Centre’, to which every session site in the country has been linked.
Meanwhile, a ‘Communication Control Room’ at the Union Ministry of Health will closely monitor any ‘disinformation campaign and rumor-mongering’ regarding the two vaccines which will be administered on Saturday.
In a virtual address, PM Modi paid an emotional tribute to scientists and healthcare workers, who have been on the frontlines during the pandemic.
“Amid the crisis and the atmosphere of despair, someone was transmitting hope by putting his life on the line to save us,” PM Modi said. He added that safety protocols, including social distancing and wearing masks, must remain in place during the immunization drive.
The two vaccines which will be included in the immunization drive are Covishield from the Serum Institue of India and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin. On Friday, Union Minister of Health Harsh Vardhan reviewed the preparations of the immunization drive.