The Union health ministry on Friday asked all states and union territories to initiate vaccination of frontline workers against COVID-19 from the first week of February.
Vaccination of healthcare providers that began on January 16 to continue simultaneously, the ministry said in a letter to states and union territories (UTs).
In the letter, Health Ministry Additional Secretary Manohar Agnani said the database of frontline workers is being updated by states and UTs in collaboration with the respective line ministries.
As on date, the database of more than 61 lakh frontline workers has been uploaded on Co-WIN portal.
"In this regard, after due consultation with states and UTs, it is advised that the states and UTs shall initiate simultaneous vaccination of frontline workers and healthcare workers from the first week of February," Agnani said.
A pan-India COVID-19 vaccination drive initiated on January 16 aims to cover healthcare and frontline workers in the initial phase.
Till 8 am on Friday, 29,28,053 beneficiaries have received anti-coronavirus shots under the countrywide vaccination exercise.
The letter mentions that the required doses of both vaccines -- Covishield and Covaxin -- have been allocated to the states and UTs and further augmentation will be made through subsequent releases.
The states and UTs should ensure that sessions must be created for both the type of vaccines in proportion to the release of vaccines to the state, wherever applicable, the letter said.
'I request you to kindly direct the concerned officials to initiate requisite planning and review for initiating vaccination of frontline workers along with healthcare workers from the first week of February, 2021.
'Your unstinted support is pre-requisite to achieve the desired acceleration and impact of COVID-19 vaccine drive,' the letter stated.