- A countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16
- Healthcare workers and frontline workers were the first to get the vaccine
- Now everyone above 45 years of age can get the COVID-19 vaccine: Centre
New Delhi: Seeking to exponentially expand the countrywide anti-coronavirus inoculation drive, the Centre has decided to keep all public and private sector COVID-19 Vaccination Centres (CVCs) operational throughout April, including on gazetted holidays. The Centre wrote to all states and union territories on Thursday (April 1) and asked them to make necessary arrangements for this, the Union Health Ministry said.
This step has been taken after detailed deliberations with the states and UTs on March 31 to optimally utilise all COVID-19 Vaccination Centres across the public and private sectors to ensure rapid increase in the pace and coverage of COVID vaccination.
This decision is in line with the graded and pro-active approach employed by the government of India along with the states and UTs for COVID-19 vaccination, the ministry said.
The vaccination exercise continues to be regularly reviewed and monitored at the highest level, it highlighted. The government opened up the COVID-19 vaccination drive to include everybody above 45 years of age on April 1 based on a recommendation of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration (NEGVAC).
A countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 with healthcare workers (HCWs) getting inoculated first, and vaccination of frontline workers (FLWs) started from February 2.
The next phase of COVID-19 vaccination commenced on March 1 to cover people above 60 and those in the age group of 45-59 but with specified co-morbid conditions. More than 6.5 crore (6,51,17,896) vaccine doses have been administered through 10,86,241 sessions across the country so far, as per the provisional report till 7 am, according to the ministry.
(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 (Water, Sanitation 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 pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.