Covid-19 vaccine drive could take a year or more: Health ministry
According to the Union ministry of health and family welfare, the vaccine drive against coronavirus could take a year or more.
“There are five key principles for this entire exercise which will last maybe beyond one year,” said Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan during the weekly briefing on Covid-19 updates on Tuesday.
The first key feature is to make sure that people participate, the second principle is to use the experience of the elections such as booth strategy; there should be no compromise on the ongoing healthcare services especially primary health care, scientific norms should also not get affected.
“When Covid-19 outbreak started, non-Covid health care services were hugely affected. We do not want that to be repeated. There may be a short delay of certain services where we might have to reschedule certain programs but no service will be shut in the future when the Covid-19 vaccination drive is on. And since governments are guided by scientific norms and standard operating procedures, and therefore, transparent, we would expect that everyone would scrupulously follow these SOPs while the vaccination rolls out in the country. Also, the entire process is technology-driven,” he said.
Bhushan also said that the vaccine will be rolled out in a sequence, depending on the availability of the vaccine.
The priority to give vaccine will be given to healthcare workers and the frontline workers who are about 30 million. Also, the above 50 and the under 50 years of the age group of people make it 270 million.
The vaccination drive will start on January 16 with 10 million healthcare workers.
Three phases of the dry run will be completed after the third dry run on Friday across 615 districts covering 4,895 session sites in 33 states/UTs.