Despite various vaccines for COVID having been registered and the governments of many countries approving their emergency usage, there were a lot of questions as to when the vaccination drive would begin in India. This question was answered when the Indian government approved the emergency use of the indigenously developed vaccines Covishield and Covaxin. Almost immediately, the government announced that the vaccination drive against COVID would begin from January 16th! It was also announced that the first phase of the drive would be for inoculating the healthcare workers and frontline workers! This has estimated a total of about 3 Crore people, who would be receiving the vaccines in the first phase!

Now, in a further piece of good news, it has come to light that the government would be bearing the costs of the vaccine in the first phase! As announced earlier, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, addressed the Chief Ministers of all the states via video conferencing, today. Reports state that he discussed the details of the vaccination drive and during this virtual meeting, also announced that the Central government would be taking care of the costs of the COVID vaccination for the healthcare workers and frontline workers! There have also been reports of the government having placed an order of 11 million vaccine doses from the Serum Institute of India.

The SII has confirmed that it has received a purchase order from the Indian government for 11 million doses of its Covishield vaccine, at a cost of Rs. 200 per vial. PM Modi's statement to the Chief Ministers was, "Around 3 Crore healthcare workers and frontline workers will be vaccinated in the first phase of vaccination. In the 2nd phase, those above 50 years and those under 50 years with co-morbid conditions will be vaccinated. If you look at the number of health and frontline workers across all states, it stands at around 3 Crores. It has been decided that state govts will not have to bear the expenses of vaccination of these 3 crore people in the first phase. Govt of India will bear these expenses." This is some great news indeed!