Free vaccine in 1st phase across India

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan appealed to people not to be misguided by rumours regarding safety and efficacy of the coronavirus vaccine, adding that there would be no compromise on any protocol before approving it.

Vardhan said free vaccine would be provided in the first phase of inoculation to the most prioritised beneficiaries, including one crore healthcare and two crore frontline workers. He added that details of how 27 crore priority beneficiaries — those above 50 years of age and those below it having co-morbidities — would be vaccinated until July were being finalised.

During a visit to the GTB hospital in Delhi to review the dry run of administering the jabs, he said: “We will not compromise on any protocol before approving a vaccine.” Vardhan underlined that vaccine hesitancy was an issue even when the country started polio immunisation drive, but “we must remember its success”.

In the first phase of COVID-19 immunisation drive, free vaccine “shall be provided across the nation to most prioritised beneficiaries”, Vardhan tweeted, adding that those include 1 crore healthcare and 2 crore frontline workers. “Details of how further 27 cr priority beneficiaries are to be vaccinated until July are being finalised,” he added.

Vardhan also reviewed dry run of administering COVID-19 vaccine at Urban Primary Health Centre at Daryaganj. Guidelines for the nationwide dry run have been updated based on the feedback from the insightful pilot dry run held on Monday and Tuesday in four states, Vardhan said.

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