The Union Health Ministry on Tuesday said that it is prepared to roll out the coronavirus vaccine by January 13, paving way for mass vaccination drive in the country.
"We are prepared to roll out Covid-19 vaccines within 10 days of granting emergency use authorisation date, based on dry run feedback," said Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan at a press conference. Approval to two vaccines was given on January 3.
The Drug Controller General of India had, on Sunday, announced approvals to two vaccine - Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield manufactured by Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin - against coronavirus infection - for restricted emergency use.
The announcement is a major relief for India which has the second highest number of infections in the world, after the US.
The vaccine will be first offered to one crore healthcare workers, along with two crore frontline and essential workers and 27 crore elderly, mostly above the age of 50 years with co-morbidities.
On Saturday, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had announced that one crore healthcare workers, along with two crore frontline will get the vaccine for free.