India will start its COVID-19 vaccination drive from January 16 with priority given to about 30 million healthcare and frontline workers, a government statement said on Saturday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the preparedness for COVID-19 vaccination programme on Saturday, it said. India hopes to inoculate 300 million of its 1.35 billion people free of charge in the first six to eight months of this year, Reuters reported.
With the highest number of infections in the world after the United States, India is developing two indigenous COVID-19 vaccines. On Saturday it reported 18,222 new coronavirus cases, taking the total to 10.43 million.
India’s drug regulator has approved two coronavirus vaccines for emergency use, Covishield, developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University and Covaxin by local company Bharat Biotech and a state-run institute.