The Centre on Friday directed all states and union territories to start inoculating frontline workers along with healthcare workers against COVID-19 from the first week of February. Vaccination of healthcare providers began on January 16, 2021.

The Health Ministry said on Friday that more than 33 lakh healthcare workers had been administered the vaccine so far. "4,40,681 beneficiaries were vaccinated till 7 pm today, the fourteenth day of nationwide Covid-19 vaccination," it said.

Health Ministry Additional Secretary Manohar Agnani, in a letter to states and union territories (UTs), said the database of frontline workers is being updated by states and UTs in collaboration with the respective line ministries.

The database of more than 61 lakh frontline workers has been uploaded on the Co-WIN portal.

"In this regard, 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," Agnani said.

The Ministry has communicated to states that "further augmentation" of Covaxin and Covishield stocks will be made through "subsequent releases of vaccine doses".

The states and UTs should ensure that sessions must be created for both the type of vaccines in proportion to the release of vaccines to the state, wherever applicable, the letter said.

"I request you to kindly direct the concerned officials to initiate requisite planning and review for initiating vaccination of frontline workers along with healthcare workers from the first week of February 2021. Your unstinted support is a pre-requisite to achieve the desired acceleration and impact of COVID-19 vaccine drive," the letter stated.

A pan-India COVID-19 vaccination drive initiated on January 16 aims to cover healthcare and frontline workers in the initial phase.

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