As India gears up for a massive vaccination drive, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the country is ready with two ‘Made in India’ coronavirus vaccines to save humanity.
On January 3, two vaccines – Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield manufactured by Serum Institute of India were approved for ‘restricted emergency use’. Several other vaccines are in the pipeline and are conducting trials. This vaccination drive is slated to begin by January 13.
“Earlier, India used to import PPE kits, masks, ventilators and testing kits from outside, but today it is self-reliant. Today, India is ready with two ‘Made in India’ Covid-19 vaccines to save humanity,” Modi said at the 16th ‘Pravasi Bharatiya Divas’ convention.
The Central government plans to vaccinate nearly 30 crore people in the first phase of the drive. It will be offered to one crore healthcare workers, along with 2 crore frontline and essential workers and 27 crores elderly, mostly above the age of 50 years with comorbidities.
It will be first offered to one crore healthcare workers and two crore frontline workers for ‘free’, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had announced recently.
Several dry-runs have been conducted prior to the commencement of the inoculation drive.