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COVID-19 Vaccination To Start In India On January 16; 3 Crore Healthcare, Frontline Workers To Get Shots First

After healthcare and frontline workers get vaccinated against COVID-19, priority will be given to those above 50 years of age and the under-50 population groups with co-morbidities, together numbering around 27 crore, a government statement said

COVID-19 Vaccination To Start In India On January 16; 3 Crore Healthcare, Frontline Workers To Get Shots First
  • India has approved two vaccines for emergency use - Covaxin and Covishield
  • It will be world's largest inoculation programme: PM Modi
  • The vaccine will be free of cost for the priority group: Health Ministry

New Delhi: India will launch its COVID-19 vaccination drive from January 16 in what Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called the world’s largest inoculation programme with priority to be given to nearly three crore healthcare and frontline workers. The decision, the government said on Saturday (January 9), was taken at a high-level meeting where PM Modi reviewed the status of COVID-19 and vaccine preparedness across states and union territories. “After the detailed review, it was decided that in view of the forthcoming festivals including Lohri, Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Magh Bihu etc, the COVID-19 vaccination will start from 16th January 2021,” it said.

Also Read: As India Gears Up To Kick-starts COVID-19 Vaccination Drive From January 16, Expert Explains When Will The Common Man Get The Vaccine

After healthcare and frontline workers, priority will be given to those above 50 years of age and the under-50 population groups with co-morbidities, together numbering around 27 crore, a government statement said. According to the Health Ministry guidelines on COVID-19 vaccination, the latest electoral roll for Lok Sabha and Legislative Assembly elections will be used to identify the population aged 50 years or more. The prime minister said that India will take a landmark step forward in fighting COVID-19 on January 16.

Starting that day, India’s nationwide vaccination drive begins. Priority will be given to our brave doctors, healthcare workers, frontline workers including Safai Karamcharis (sanitation workers), PM Modi tweeted.

The prime minister is scheduled to interact with chief ministers of all states via video conferencing on Monday (January 11) where they will discuss the COVID-19 situation and the vaccination roll-out. India had recently granted emergency use authorisation to two vaccines, Oxford’s Covishield being manufactured by Serum Institute in India and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin. Both vaccines, the statement from the Health Ministry said, have established safety and immunogenicity.

At least seven other vaccines are being developed in India, while some others can be imported from abroad, including the one developed by global pharma giant Pfizer which has already applied for import and sale in India of its vaccine for emergency use authorisation.

There are 2,24,190 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country which constitutes 2.16 per cent of the total caseload so far of over 1.04 crore, according to the latest Health Ministry data. More than 1.5 lakh people have died so far. However, the spread of the virus has lessened in a big way in the country as the daily number of new cases has dropped to less than 20,000 from a peak of almost 98,000 in September last year.

Also Read: India Will Be Able To Vaccinate Entire Population Against COVID-19 Soon, Says Health Minister Harsh Vardhan

However, the overall caseload for India is the second-highest in the world after the US, which has reported more than 2 crore cases so far — almost double of India’s cumulative tally. In terms of deaths also, the US has recorded the most at nearly 3.7 lakh, followed by over 2 lakh in Brazil and about 1.5 lakh in India. However, India tops the global charts for recovery with more than 1 crore having recuperated after contracting the deadly virus.

Many countries have launched mass vaccination programmes to protect their people from the deadly virus, which was first detected in China in December 2019 and has killed nearly 20 lakh people globally and infected almost 9 crore people since then. The vaccination drive in India is starting almost one year after the first case was reported on January 30, 2020 in Kerala, though a wider outbreak began in March after a few people in Delhi and adjoining areas were tested positive after returning from abroad.

In December 2020, the UK became the first country to start vaccination, followed by several other nations, including the US, Belarus, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Kuwait, Malta, Mexico, Oman, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland and the UAE.

In some countries, heads of the government have been the first to get the shot, while elsewhere healthcare workers, sanitation staff or elderly people have got vaccinated before anyone else. But shortly after the vaccination programme began in the UK, the country imposed strict lockdown conditions after a more contagious strain of the virus was found. This also led to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson cancelling his visit to India for being the chief guest for Republic Day parade on January 26.

Also Read: DGCA Issues Guidelines To Airlines On Transportation Of COVID-19 Vaccines Packed In Dry Ice

In the review meeting, PM Modi was also briefed about the Co-WIN vaccine delivery management system, a unique digital platform that will provide real-time information of vaccine stocks, their storage temperature and individualised tracking of beneficiaries of the COVID-19 vaccine. This platform will assist the programme managers across all levels through automated session allocation for pre-registered beneficiaries, their verification and for generating a digital certificate upon successful completion of the vaccine schedule. More than 79 lakh beneficiaries have been already registered on the platform, the statement said.

As the vaccinators and vaccine administrators comprise a crucial pillar of the vaccination exercise, their training process was also detailed out in the meeting, and it was noted that 2,360 participants were trained during a national-level exercise (training of trainers) comprising state immunisation officers, cold chain officers, IEC officials and development partners among others.

More than 61,000 programme managers, two lakh vaccinators and 3.7 lakh other vaccination team members have been trained so far as part of training at states, districts and block levels, it said. Three phases of dry runs have been conducted across the country, with the third dry run conducted on Friday across 615 districts covering 4895 session sites in 33 states and UTs. The Health Ministry said the entire vaccination exercise is underpinned by the principles of people’s participation (Jan Bhagidari); utilising the experience of elections (booth strategy) and universal immunization programme (UIP).

No compromise on existing healthcare services, especially national programmes and primary health care, and of scientific and regulatory norms besides other SOPs will be made, and the vaccination programme will be marked by an orderly and smooth implementation driven by technology. Earlier at an event, PM Modi had said that the country is ready with two ‘Made in India’ vaccines, and asserted that the world is not only waiting for them but also watching as to how India runs the globally largest vaccination drive.

Also Read: India’s COVID-19 Vaccination Programme Explained: What Is Co-WIN Vaccine Delivery Management System, All You Need To Know

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene


Coronavirus has spread to 196 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 26,21,50,955 and 52,07,350 have died; 22,29,25,306 are active cases and 3,40,18,299 have recovered as on November 30, 2021 at 3:50 am.


3,45,87,822 6,990Cases
3,40,18,299 10,116Recovered
4,68,980 190Deaths
In India, there are 3,45,87,822 confirmed cases including 4,68,980 deaths. The number of active cases is 1,00,543 and 3,40,18,299 have recovered as on November 30, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths

66,34,980 536

11,525 338

64,82,493 853

1,40,962 21


51,37,091 3,382

45,138 2,514

50,51,998 5,779

39,955 117


29,95,857 257

6,907 47

29,50,747 205

38,203 5

Tamil Nadu

27,26,197 730

8,291 46

26,81,434 767

36,472 9

Andhra Pradesh

20,72,725 101

2,102 38

20,56,184 138

14,439 1

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,387 5

86 3

16,87,391 2


West Bengal

16,15,378 511

7,733 71

15,88,172 571

19,473 11


14,40,900 34

285 3

14,15,517 36

25,098 1


10,48,880 197

2,165 26

10,38,306 221

8,409 2


10,06,779 16

318 12

9,92,868 28



9,54,770 12

187 12

9,45,628 24



8,27,435 27

262 22

8,17,081 49


Madhya Pradesh

7,93,150 12

126 4

7,82,496 8



7,71,692 16

165 3

7,61,473 19



7,26,219 2

39 2

7,16,517 4



6,75,798 184

3,581 46

6,68,227 137

3,990 1


6,16,708 140

2,595 96

6,08,015 230

6,098 6


6,03,258 18

329 11

5,86,330 26

16,599 3


3,49,232 11

95 2

3,43,997 9



3,44,227 8

132 44

3,36,687 51

7,408 1

Jammu And Kashmir

3,36,681 150

1,626 32

3,30,579 181

4,476 1

Himachal Pradesh

2,27,093 90

824 29

2,22,422 61



1,78,890 24

276 3

1,75,230 19

3,384 2


1,34,810 437

3,805 95

1,30,512 531

493 1


1,28,893 12

296 16

1,26,725 28



1,25,169 17

655 30

1,22,539 43

1,975 4


84,791 4

78 8

83,890 10

823 2


84,461 17

285 16

82,704 32

1,472 1


65,456 8

58 4

64,578 4


Arunachal Pradesh

55,273 4

35 2

54,958 2



32,233 5

121 6

31,709 11



32,109 9

140 5

31,273 4



21,540 12

250 18

21,076 29

214 1

Dadra And Nagar Haveli


1 0





24 4

10,319 4


Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,683 2

8 2



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