Amarinder to take first Covid-19 vaccine shot in Punjab

Chandigarh, Dec 2: With the Covid-19 vaccine in the final stages of operationalisation in India, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday said he will take the first shot of the vaccine in Punjab, once it is cleared by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

The Chief Minister made this announcement at the virtual Cabinet meeting, during a presentation to discuss the Covid situation and the state's preparedness to roll out the vaccine.

In line with the government of India strategy for vaccination, Punjab has prioritised healthcare workers, frontline workers, the elderly population (over 50 years of age) and people with co-morbidities, the meeting was informed.

Punjab Health Secretary Hussan Lal said the state has compiled data of 1.25 lakh government and private healthcare workers to be vaccinated in the first phase.

Approximately 23 per cent (70 lakh) of the state's population, estimated at around 3 crore, will be vaccinated in terms of the government of India guidelines on vaccine prioritisation, he added.

To ensure seamless roll-out of the vaccination, the state steering committee is coordinating closely with the national committee, while the state taskforce will work in tandem with the district and block-level taskforce committees.

Following a review of the available facilities, the state has requested the Centre for certain additional cold chain equipment, including vaccine vans, deep freezers, ice-lined refrigerators, cold boxes, vaccine carriers, ice packs and stabilisers.