As soon as the COVID-19 vaccine becomes available, about one crore frontline health workers in 92 per cent government hospitals and 55 per cent of private hospitals across all states and union territories will receive the same first.
Five vaccines are already in advanced stages of development in the country and the states have been asked to speed up the identification process for frontline healthcare workers and conclude this exercise in another week. Four vaccines in stages II/III and one in stage I/II are in trial already.
The Centre has further instructed to plan and map the vaccination sessions, where doctor, nurses and healthcare workers alike will receive the vaccine during the first phase. This mapping of human resources across different departments will help in overall coordination, crowd management and verification of the beneficiaries during future vaccination.
Four categories have been demarcated, which include doctors, MBBS students, nurses and Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) workers. Municipal corporation staff, police personnel and members of the armed forces who constitute two crore of the population, will also be included. Another 26 crores citizens aged 50 plus and the ones below 50 with co-morbidity requiring specialised care are also in line to be vaccinated.
The vaccine, once available, will be distributed under a special inoculation programme, which will use the processes, technology and network of the existing Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP).