Priority population groups being finalised for vaccination against COVID-19 once vaccine is ready

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Representative Image

New Delhi [India], October 23 (ANI): The central government's National Expert Committee on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 is finalizing priority population groups for vaccination against coronavirus once the vaccine is ready.

A senior government official told ANI that the committee is chalking out detailed categories of "priority-based population groups" for vaccination and the first priority is healthcare workers.

"It includes doctors, nurses, paramedics, ward boys etc. ASHAs and Anganwadi workers have also been included. However, it is still getting finalized," the official said.

The officials said the frontline workers and vulnerable sections were second in terms of priority.

They include municipal corporation workers, police and other armed personnel and persons with co-morbities in three age groups - above 35 years, above 50 years and above 60 years.

The committee has also asked states to prepare operational guidelines for coronavirus vaccination.

"The states have been asked to draft operational guidelines. For instance how COVID-19 vaccination will take place, how many people would be vaccinated in a day, how much syringe and vial would be required, cold storage capacity etc," said the official.

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan had said earlier that the Central government has planned to receive and utilise 400-500 million COVID-19 doses and states have been advised to send a detail of priority population groups by the end of October.

"The national expert's committee has a sub-group that is looking for the requirement of a cold chain for storage of vaccines. It has already mapped the existing cold chain that is presently being utilised under the immunisation programme of the government. And it has also made a projection of additional cold storages that will be required. Presently, that group is engaged in mapping the private sector facilities. With minor modifications they could be converted to serve the need for supplementing for cold chain equipment," the official said further.

There are three COVID-19 vaccines in India in different stages of clinical trials. (ANI)