Satyendar Jain, the Health Minister of Delhi, on Sunday (January 10, 2021) said that the coronavirus vaccine will arrive in Delhi by January 13 (Wednesday) and that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led government has finalised 89 sites --- 36 government hospitals and 53 private hospitals  --- to roll out the vaccines in the national capital from January 16. Jain, in a press conference on Sunday, said there will be one COVID-19 vaccination centre each in every hospital. Around 10 health care staff will be deployed at each centre, he said.

The Minister said that the Delhi government has made full preparations for the corona vaccine and now it just waiting for the arrival of the vaccines. "The first batch of vaccines will arrive by Tuesday or Wednesday (January 12 to January 13). In the first phase, atleast 2,25,000 health care workers will be vaccinated. Thereafter, frontline workers and those aged above 50 will be given the doses," Jain said.

There will be one COVID-19 vaccination centre each in every hospital. Around 10 health care staff will be deployed at each centre, he said."We are fully prepared to roll out the vaccination programme. We will administer the vaccine as soon as the doses arrive," he said.

Further, he said that the Delhi government has also included teachers who have worked as frontline workers in the time of the COVID-19 epidemic in the list to receive the vaccine jab.

The minister said the Delhi government has already requested the Centre to provide vaccines free of cost. 

Meanwhile, the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive is expected to start the next week. In view of this, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to chair a meeting via video conferencing with the Chief Ministers of all the states on Monday at 4 pm.

It is expected that the Prime Minister will discuss in detail the plans over the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccines with the Chief Ministers. "At 4pm on January 11, PM Narendra Modi will interact with chief ministers of all states via video conferencing. They will discuss the Covid-19 situation and the vaccination rollout," the PMO said on its official Twitter handle.

Earlier, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) on January 3 had granted restricted emergency use authorisation to the Serum Institute of India (SII)'s 'Covishield' and Bharat Biotech's 'Covaxin' vaccine.

Covishield is over 70 per cent effective, while Covaxin is currently in the Phase 3 trials but is "safe and provides a robust immune response", the drug regulator had said last week.

While the full efficacy of Covaxin is yet to be determined, it was given go-ahead by the DCGI citing 'public interest'. Covaxin is an indigenously developed vaccine by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research.

(With agency inputs)

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