By Ali Shaikh And Priyanka Sharma
New Delhi [India], January 11 (ANI): Serum Institute of India (SII) has received a purchase order from the Government of India for 11 million doses of Covishield vaccine, which would be available at the price of Rs 200 per dose, said SII officials on Monday.
The COVID-19 vaccination drive in the country will start from January 16.
The decision was taken at a meeting on Saturday in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the status of COVID-19 in the country and the preparedness of states and union territories for vaccination against the disease.
A PMO release said that priority will be given to the healthcare workers and the frontline workers estimated to be around three crores followed by those above 50 years of age and the under-50 population groups with co-morbidities which number around 27 crores.
"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 January 16, 2021," a PMO release said.
The Prime Minister took a detailed and comprehensive review of the status of COVID management covering various issues.
Emergency Use Authorisation or Accelerated Approval has been granted by the National Regulator for two vaccines-- Covishield and Covaxin-- which have established safety and immunogenicity, the release said.
The release said vaccination exercise is underpinned by the principles of people's participation (jan bhagidari), utilising experience of elections (booth strategy) and Universal Immunisation Program (UIP).
It will also not compromise existing healthcare services, especially national programmes and primary healthcare and will be underpinned by "no compromise on scientific and regulatory norms and other SOPs and orderly and smooth implementation driven by technology.
The Prime Minister was also apprised of the three phases of dry runs having been conducted across the country. The third dry run was conducted yesterday across 615 districts covering 4,895 session sites in 33 states and UTs.
The meeting chaired by Prime Minister was attended by Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to PM, Health Secretary, and other senior officials. (ANI)