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India allocates 1.65Cr doses ahead of COVID-19 vaccine drive from Jan 16

By TIOL News Service

NEW DELHI, JAN 14, 2021: THE government has procures and allocated 1.65 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines to all states and union territories as they prepare for the massive inoculation drive which is set to begin from 16 January.

The initial lot of around 1.1 crore Covishield and 55 lakh Covaxin vaccines were distributed in proportion to the number of healthcare workers registered in the official database, the Health Ministry said today.

"Therefore, there is no question of discrimination against any state in allocation of vaccination doses. This is the initial lot of supply of vaccine doses and would be continuously replenished in the weeks to come. Therefore, any apprehension being expressed on account of deficient supply is totally baseless and unfounded," said an official statement.

The ministry has advised states not to organise "unreasonable numbers of vaccination per site per day" and told them to take into account 10% reserve and wastage doses.

There are over 2,900 vaccination sites across the country and they have been restricted to administering an average of 100 vaccinations per session per day.

Getting vaccinated for COVID-19 remains voluntary with the cost being borne by the Centre.

The states and UTs have also been advised to increase the number of vaccination session sites that would be operational every day in a progressive manner as the vaccination process stabilizes and moves forward.

In the first phase of the vaccination drive, an estimated one crore healthcare workers and two crore frontline workers will be immunised, followed by people over the age of 50, and those younger but with associated comorbidities.