An estimated three lakh healthcare workers will be given the coronavirus vaccine at 2,934 sites across India on the first day of the massive nationwide vaccination drive on January 16, official sources said today.
As the world's biggest vaccination campaign against Covid-19 gets underway, the number of sites for the exercise is expected to increase in a phased manner to 12,000 by March as the vaccination process stabilises and vaccine supplies improve, reports our New Delhi correspondent quoting an official of the country's health ministry.
To begin with, the focus would be to ensure smooth inoculation so that people gain confidence in the exercise, the official said.
"States have been advised to organize vaccination sessions taking into account 10 percent reserve/wastage doses and an average of 100 vaccinations per session each day," the health ministry in a notice said last night.
"Therefore, any undue haste on the part of states to organise unreasonable numbers of vaccination per site per day is not advised," the notice added.
According to the government, the shots will be offered first to an estimated one crore healthcare workers, and around two crore frontline workers, and then to persons above 50 years of age, followed by persons younger than 50 years of age with associated comorbidities.
The cost of vaccination of healthcare and frontline workers will be borne by the central government.
On whether a person with an active Covid-19 infection will be vaccinated, All India Institute of Medical Sciences Director Randeep Guleria said a person with active and symptomatic Covid-19 infection may increase the risk of spreading the same to others at the vaccination site and so infected individuals should defer vaccination for at least 14 days after the symptoms are resolved.
Elaborating on the possible side-effects of Covid-19 vaccine, Guleria said that as is true for other vaccines, some will have some degree of side effects which could be in form of mild fever, pain at the site of injection and body ache.