The Telangana government is geared up for the COVID-19 vaccination programme beginning January 16, state Health Minister Eatala Rajender said on Saturday, stating that he would take the first shot to instil confidence among the people. Eatala Rajender said that the dry runs preceding the vaccine rollout have been successfully conducted. COVID-19 vaccine would be administered at 139 centres on January 16, with two to three centres being set up in each district, an official release quoted the Minister as saying.
A total of 13,900 people would be administered the vaccine in the 139 centres on the first day of rollout, and 2,90,000 healthcare personnel working in the public and private sector have registered their names for the vaccine, he said. According to The Hindu, the Minister said that while there will be two to three centres in each district, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) will have more centres.
Meanwhile, state Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, who attended a video conference with Union Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba on Saturday, said the workers in the Panchayat Raj Department should be given the vaccination (on priority) as they faced a high risk, according to PTI. He wanted public representatives to also be given the vaccine as was sought by the Health Minister, the statement said.
The Health Minister’s announcement came hours after the Union government announced on Saturday that India’s vaccination drive will start from January 16. The date has been decided after the festivals of Lohri, Makar Sankranti, Pongal and Magh Bihu, the government said, after a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review the preparedness for vaccination.
Around three crore healthcare workers and frontline workers will get first priority, followed by those above 50 years and the under-50 population groups with co-morbidities. This is estimated to comprise around 27 crore people.
It was earlier reported that the Telangana government will finalise an action plan for administering COVID-19 vaccine in the state on January 11. A meeting will be held by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao with all ministers and district collectors, to discuss the vaccine distribution plan.
With inputs from PTI