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Start vaccination of frontline workers, states told

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By Rhythma Kaul, SNN, New Delhi

PUBLISHED ON JAN 30, 2021 02:59 AM IST

The Centre on Friday asked states and Union territories to begin coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccination of frontline workers from the first week of February in an effort to scale up the inoculation drive.

In a letter written to states and UTs on Friday, Manohar Agnani, additional secretary (health), who is also Union health ministry’s nodal authority for all Covid-19 vaccine-related initiatives, advised all the states and UTs to start the process of also including frontline workers in the vaccination drive along with healthcare workers.

Vaccination of healthcare providers that began on January 16 will continue simultaneously, the ministry said in the letter.

Till Friday evening ,close to 3.5 million received anti-coronavirus shots.

“…after due consultation with states and UTs, it is advised that the states and UTs shall initiate simultaneous vaccination of frontline workers and healthcare workers from the first week of February,” says Agnani’s letter to states.

“The required doses of both types of vaccines (i.e. Covishield and Covaxin) have been allocated to the States and UTs. And further argumentation will be made through subsequent releases of vaccine doses to states and UTs. The States and UTs should ensure that the sessions must be created for both the type of vaccines in proportion to the release of vaccines to the state… direct the concerned officials to initiate requisite planning and review for initiating vaccination…”.

There are an estimated 20 million frontline workers who are in the list of beneficiaries to be vaccinated in the initial phase. As per government data, data of close to 600,000 frontline workers has already been uploaded on the Covid Vaccine Intelligence Network (CoWIN) database, and the remaining beneficiaries are in the process of being identified.

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