India’s states and union territories (UTs) can expect to receive COVID-19 vaccine supplies soon and should be prepared, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has said.
A communique from Dr Pradeep Halder, an advisor on reproductive and child health in the Ministry reportedly said “all the states and UTs are likely to receive the first supply of COVID-19 [vaccines] shortly. In this regard, you are requested to ensure the advance preparation and readiness for the acceptance of forthcoming supply of the vaccine.”
As reported by the Press Trust of India, “[the] vaccine will be supplied to the identified consignee points of nineteen states and union territories — Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal — by the supplier.
“The vaccine for remaining eighteen states and union territories — Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Daman and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Lakshadweep, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Puducherry, Sikkim, Tripura and Uttarakhand — will be received from their respective government medical store depots.”
In the first phase of its vaccination campaign, by August 2021, India aims to inoculate 300 million against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2) – the novel coronavirus which causes COVID-19. The mammoth task of vaccinating over 1.3 billion people is a feat lost on few. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has described the COVID-19 immunisation programme in India as “the world’s largest.” Frontline workers and those most at risk, such as the elderly and/or with comorbidities, are to be prioritised in the first stage.