The worlds largest vaccination programme will begin at a total of 3,006 session sites across all the States and the Union Territories, which will be connected virtually throughout the exercise. Nearly 100 beneficiaries will receive the vaccine at each of the session sites on Saturday.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Friday said adequate doses of both the vaccines Covishield and Covaxin had been delivered across the country. He reviewed the functioning of the CoWIN system, the online digital platform that will be used to drive the vaccination programme.
You can track coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates at the national and State levels here. A list of State Helpline numbers is available as well.
Here are live updates:
Prime Minister Modi flags-off COVID-19 vaccination drive
Prime Minister Narendra Modi flags-off the first phase of the pan-India roll out of the COVID-19 vaccination drive via video conferencing.
Global COVID-19 death toll tops 2 million amid vaccine rollout
The global death toll from COVID-19 topped 2 million on January 15, crossing the threshold amid a vaccine rollout so immense but so uneven that in some countries there is real hope of vanquishing the outbreak, while in other, less-developed parts of the world, it seems a far-off dream.
The numbing figure was reached just over a year after the coronavirus was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan. The number of dead, compiled by Johns Hopkins University, is about equal to the population of Brussels, Mecca, Minsk or Vienna.
While vaccination drives in rich countries have been hamstrung by long lines, inadequate budgets and a patchwork of state and local approaches, the obstacles are far greater in poorer nations, which can have weak health systems, crumbling transportation networks, entrenched corruption and a lack of reliable electricity to keep vaccines cold enough.
Policy cloud delays Brazil vaccine flight
A special plane from Brazil to carry the first exports of Covishield, the India-made coronavirus vaccine, was delayed on Friday, amid confusion over clearance for the shipment, officials in New Delhi said.
The flight, due to leave Brazil on Thursday and return on Saturday with 2 million doses of the vaccine, was put off, the Brazilian Ministry of Health announced, citing logistical and licensing issues.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through the Embassy in New Delhi, is in constant contact with the Indian authorities, following the letter from President Jair Bolsonaro to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, of January 8, to ensure that the aircrafts arrival authorised and that the cargo export license is granted without any hitches. The Brazilian Air Force is also involved in issues of authorisation to fly over and land the aircraft, the Health Ministry in a statement issued in Brasilia said.
According to the officials, Brazilian authorities have now intimated them that the plane would leave Recife in Brazil for the 15,000 km, 18-hour journey to Mumbai on Saturday morning (IST), but only if it receives clearances from India.
China puts 20,000 villagers in quarantine over virus risk
China has sent over 20,000 rural residents living in the epicentre of the countrys latest virus outbreak to state-run quarantine facilities, as Beijing on Friday reported the worst nationwide figures since March. The country had largely brought the virus under control after strict measures, including mass testing and travel restrictions.
However, recent weeks have seen numbers climbing, especially in the north, prompting a fresh wave of lockdowns and restrictions.
Joe Bidens virus plan: 100 million shots just the start
 Getting 100 million shots into Americans arms in his first 100 days is only the beginning of his coronavirus plan, President-elect Joe Biden has declared.
Lasting impact, he said, will come from uniting the nation in a new effort grounded in science and fueled by billions in federal money for vaccination, testing and outbreak sleuths.
You have my word: We will manage the hell out of this operation, Mr. Biden said on January 15. But he also underscored a need for Congress to approve more money and for people to keep following basic precautions, such as wearing masks, avoiding gatherings and frequently washing their hands.
DCGI nod for phase 3 trials for Sputnik V vaccine
Dr. Reddys Laboratories has received Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) approval to conduct phase 3 clinical trial for Russias COVID-19 vaccine candidate, Sputnik V, in the country.
The phase 3 trial will be conducted on 1,500 subjects as part of the randomised, double blind, parallel group, placebo controlled study in India, the Hyderabad-headquartered drugmaker said. Dr. Reddys and Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) had announced a partnership in September on clinical trials for Sputnik V and its distribution rights in India.
We expect to commence the phase 3 study within this month and will continue to fast-track our efforts to bringing in a safe and efficacious vaccine for the Indian population, Dr. Reddys co-chairman and MD G.V. Prasad said in a statement on Friday.
Dedicated 24×7 call centre 1075 set up for the vaccination programme
A dedicated 24×7 call centre 1075 has also been established for addressing the queries related to the pandemic, vaccine rollout and the CoWIN software, information released by the Prime Ministers Office said.
The vaccination drive, where the beneficiaries currently will not have a choice between the two vaccines Covishield and Covaxin available in India, has been planned in a phased manner, identifying priority groups, the Health Ministry said.
Healthcare workers, both in the government and private sectors including Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) workers, will receive the vaccine during this first phase.

You may also like