India ready to roll out COVID-19 vaccine likely by January 13: Health Ministry

The Union Health Ministry on Tuesday announced that COVID-19 vaccines will be ready for rollout within 10 days of granting emergency use approval based on the feedback from dry run.

Addressing a press conference, Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that the government is prepared to roll out the vaccine drive within 10 days from approval. 

“Only 43.96% of the total active cases of COVID19 are under treatment in health-care facilities, on the other hand 56.04% of the active cases are very mild or asymptomatic and are in home isolation,” the Health Secretary said.

“There is a Continuous decline in active cases which are now below 2.5 Lakh,” he said

“India has reported only 96 new cases and 1 death per million population in the last 7 days,” he added

The Health Secretary informed that there are four primary vaccine stores called GMSD located in Karnal, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata and there are a total of 37 vaccine stores in the country. They store vaccines in bulk and distribute further.

“The number of vaccines stored and temperature trackers in the facility are monitored digitally. We have this facility for over a decade in the country,” he said.

Bhushan also confirmed that healthcare workers and frontline workers would not need to register themselves as a beneficiary of COVID-19 vaccine.

“Vaccine is transported from primary health centers through vaccine carriers technically known as passive equipment with temperature regulations to sub-centers. Beneficiary registration will not be required for health & frontline workers,” he said.

“The Co-WIN Delivery Management system includes automated session allocation, SMS to be sent in 12 languages, 24×7 helpline, chatbox, digital locker for integrated data retrieval and storing of QR code certificate,” he added.

On January 3, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) approved Serum Institute, Bharat Biotech’s vaccines for emergency use.