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India delivers COVID-19 shots to prepare for 'world's biggest vaccination drive'

IBEF:  January 13, 2021

On Tuesday, Indian airlines began distributing shipments of COVID-19 vaccines nationwide, preparing for the launch of a campaign to give 1.3 billion people vaccinations in what officials term the largest vaccination push in the world.

In an initiative that the authorities anticipates seeing 300 million high-risk individuals inoculated over the next six to eight months. The vaccinations are scheduled to begin on Saturday.

30 million health and other frontline staff would be the first to receive the vaccine, followed by around 270 million older than 50 or considered to be high-risk.

On Tuesday, airlines were scheduled to deliver 5.65 million doses of vaccine to various states, Aviation Minister Mr. Hardeep Singh Puri stated on Twitter.

Officials in Gujarat’s western home state of Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi stated that the distribution of vaccines was their top priority.

Mr. Nitin Patel, the state’s deputy chief minister, said, “These vaccinations will be transported from the airport to cold storage and distributed to vaccination booths rapidly.”

On Monday, the government of Modi signed purchase agreements with the vaccine manufacturer Serum Institute of India (SII), based in the western city of Pune, for its Covishield shot, more than a week after the AstraZeneca and Oxford University produced vaccine was approved.

Mr. Adar Poonawalla, the company's chief executive, has only given a special price of Rs. 200 (US$ 2.73) for the first 100 million doses to the government of India at their request.

The price was a move of solidarity for the common man, the poor and vulnerable, and health workers, he said, adding, 'After that, in private markets, we will price it at Rs. 1,000 (US$ 13.61).'

In eastern and western states, health officials stated they will use the expertise gained from running routine polio child immunisation campaigns to ensure maximum coverage of what they term the world's largest vaccination campaign.

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.