NEW DELHI: PM Modi on Monday advised politicians to stay out of the first round of vaccination exercise on January 16.
“This is my personal suggestion and no one should take it otherwise. We public representatives are not part of it,” the PM said as he announced that Centre will bear the expenses of vaccinating nearly three crore healthcare and frontline workers.
The government has already announced that healthcare and frontline workers will be covered under the first round of the mega exercise. In some countries, including the US and Israel, leading public figures have taken the first jabs.
‘More cost-effective vaccines than any other in the world’
The Prime Minister expressed pride over the fact that the two vaccines approved for emergency use have ‘Made-in-India’ tag.
The two vaccines that have got the drug regulator’s nod are: Covishield developed by Oxford and British-Swedish company AstraZeneca and manufactured by Serum Institute Of India, and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.
The two vaccines are more cost-effective than any other in the world and have been developed as per the country’s needs, the PM said at a meeting held over video conference to discuss the Covid-19 situation and the vaccination roll-out.
“It can be imagined how much hardship India would have faced if it had to depend on foreign vaccines,” the PM said.
Prime Minister Modi sought to dispel concerns expressed by some opposition leaders and experts over the approval given to Covaxin without the availability of efficacy data and asserted that scientists have taken all precautions to provide citizens with effective vaccines.
The Prime Minister said he has been maintaining from the beginning that the scientific community will have the final word on the issue.
Four more vaccines in the pipeline.
Besides the two vaccines — four others are in the pipeline, PM Modi said, asserting that India’s fight against the pandemic will enter a decisive stage with the vaccination roll-out.
More vaccines may be available when the exercise moves into the second round, he added.
Global pharma giant Pfizer has already applied for import and sale in India of its vaccine for emergency use authorisation.
27 crore to be covered in the second phase of vaccination
After healthcare and frontline workers totalling about three crores, priority will be given to those above 50 years of age and the under-50 population groups with co-morbidities, together numbering around 27 crore, in the next phase.
According to the health ministry guidelines on Covid-19 vaccination, the latest electoral roll for Lok Sabha and legislative assembly elections will be used to identify the population aged 50 years or more.
India’s 30 crore vs world’s 2.5 crore
Interacting with state chief ministers, PM Modi underscored the enormity of what he described as the world’s biggest vaccination exercise.
“Over 30 crore citizens will get the jabs in the next few months in India against only 2.5 crore people who have received them in over 50 countries in around a month so far,” PM Modi said at the meeting.
‘Great example of federalism’
PM Modi praised the role of states in fighting the pandemic and said many states have given good suggestions and the dialogue and cooperation between the Centre and states have been a “great example” of federalism.
He asked states to ensure that rumours do not get spread about the vaccination exercise and suggested involving social and religious groups in helping check any rumour-mongering.
The story is derived from a syndicated feed and Team TOV has not made any amendments to it.
Image Courtesy : TOI