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30 cr Indians to be vaccinated first in Covid immunisation drive

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Covid-19 vaccine could come within 1 year: WHO chiefNew Delhi, Dec 8 (IANS) The government has marked 30 crore Indians for the large-scale immunisation of Covid-19 vaccine after it gets the necessary approval, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare informed in a press briefing on Tuesday.

The ministry said that the national expert group on vaccine administration has recommended 30 crore Indians to receive the vaccine shots first. The figures include 1 crore healthcare workers, 2 crore frontline workers and 27 crore general population falling in priority groups set by the expert group.

“One crore healthcare providers and workers in the healthcare settings, both government and private, 2 crore personnel from state and Central police departments, armed forces, home guard and civil defence organisations, including disaster management volunteers and municipal workers, and 27 crore persons above the age of 50 years and people below 50 years with associated comorbidities are recommended by the national expert group on vaccine administration to be vaccinated on priority,” said Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan.

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Bhushan said that the Centre is carrying preparatory activities for the roll-out of Covid-19 vaccine in collaboration with all the states and Union Territories.

“The governments at the Centre and states and Uts have started preparing the line-listing of prioritised population groups for vaccination, augmentation of cold-chain infrastructure for storage of vaccine vials, and roping additional vaccinators for smooth execution of Covid-19 immunisation,” he added.

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Bhushan also informed that the present cold-chain system to store the vaccines consists of 85,634 equipment at about 28,947 cold-chain points across the country. “The current cold-chain system is capable of storing additional quantities of Covid-19 vaccine required for the first 3 crore healthcare workers and frontline workers,” he added.

Meanwhile, the ministry informed that the country has around 2.39 lakh vaccinators consisting of auxiliary nurses and midwives (ANM) who already provide their services for 13 kinds of vaccine drives under Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP).

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“However, we would use only 1.54 lakh ANMs for Covid vaccination so that other vaccination programmes do not get hamper,” Bhushan informed.

Source: IANS

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