CO-WIN App, Jan 14: The country initiates the world’s largest vaccination program on January 16, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will kick-off Covid-19 vaccination drive.

As per the source, along with the virtual launch of pan-India vaccination drive on Saturday, PM Modi will also officially launch the Co-WIN app on January 16.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain is expected to join the interactive webcast with the PM Modi.

Sites being chosen in various states for the virtual address. In Delhi, the government has chosen the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) Narayan Hospital for the state-level program. Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital, the storage facility for the Covid vaccine in the capital, is also another site chosen in Delhi. The time for the same is yet to confirm.

India has authorized two Covid-19 vaccines – indigenous Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin & Serum Institute of India vaccine Covishield for emergency use.

In the first phase, priority will be given to nearly three crore healthcare and frontline workers, the government has said. After healthcare and frontline workers, priority will be given to those above 50 years of age and the under-50 population groups with co-morbidities numbering around 27 crores.

The decision to launch India’s vaccination drive was taken after Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the status of Covid-19 situation and vaccine preparedness.

According to a government statement, “After the detailed review, it was decided that given the forthcoming festivals including Lohri, Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Magh Bihu, etc, the Covid-19 vaccination will start on January 16, 2021.

Emergency Use Authorisation or Accelerated Approval has been granted by the National Regulator for two vaccines (Covishield and Covaxin) which have established safety and immunogenicity,” the government statement added.

Four more vaccines are expected to be on board in current year.

On the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda (12th January), India’s Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that the country’s regulators are looking at four more Covid-19 vaccines in the pipeline. Among these are the vaccines developed by Zydus Cadilla, Russia’s Sputnik-V, Biological E and Gennova.

Zydus Cadilla completed the Phase 2 clinical trials of its coronavirus vaccine in December of last year and has been granted approval for Phase 3. Similarly, the Phase 2 clinical trials of Russia’s Sputnik-V Covid-19 vaccine has also concluded and Phase 3 trials are being carried out by its Indian partner Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories.

In the case of Biological E, the Phase 1 clinical trials of its vaccine started in December and Phase 2 is expected to begin in March. Gennova’s RnA-based Covid-19 vaccine is currently in Phase 1 with Phase 2 clinical trials likely to begin in March of this year.

The Government of India is purchasing 100 million doses of the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine Covishield from Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) at the cost of Rs 200 per dose.