Centre will bear expenses for first-phase vaccination of 3 crore frontline workers, says Narendra Modi

Modi said that vaccine beneficiaries will be identified and tracked with the help of Aadhaar and the Centre's monitoring app, CoWIN

FP Staff January 11, 2021 18:44:52 IST
Centre will bear expenses for first-phase vaccination of 3 crore frontline workers, says Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi interacted with chief ministers on the COVID-19 vaccination drive on Monday. Twitter@NarendraModi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday spoke to the chief ministers of all the states to review and discuss the preparedness for the upcoming COVID-19 vaccination drive set to kick off on 16 January.

In the discussion, Modi said that the Centre will bear the cost of vaccination for three crore healthcare and frontline workers in the first phase of the exercise. He added that 'public representatives', including legislators, have not been included in this priority group.

Monday's discussion was Modi's first interaction with chief ministers after India's drug regulator approved two coronavirus vaccines for restricted emergency use.

"Both the vaccines that have been given approval are made in India. In addition to this, four other vaccine candidates are being developed as we speak. By the time the second phase of inoculation is undertaken (for people above the age of 50 and for people with co-morbidities below the age of 50), we might have more vaccines ready to be administered," he said.

Modi also emphasised that the approved vaccines have been developed with the "utmost care and precaution". "We have always considered the scientific community's opinions as the final word on the topic of vaccines," he added.

"Both our vaccines are more cost-effective than the vaccines developed by other countries. These vaccines have been approved based on the COVID-19 situation in the country," he said.

Modi stated that India's experience of administering vaccines in the most isolated areas will greatly benefit the COVID-19 vaccination drive. He added that the priority groups for vaccination has been decided in consensus with the state governments.

"In the last few weeks, we have created a framework of necessary infrastructure and logistics for the vaccination drive in collaboration with the state governments. In almost all the districts across the country, we have conducted dry runs. Several universal immunisation programmes are already ongoing in India for diseases like measles and rubella. It is necessary to combine our experience in vaccination and elections with the COVID-19 vaccination drive," he added.

Modi said that vaccine beneficiaries will be identified and tracked with the help of Aadhaar and the Centre's monitoring app, CoWIN.

"India will set an example for other countries so we have a responsibility to make the exercise a success," he said.

India's drugs regulator has approved Oxford vaccine Covishield, being manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country.

With inputs from PTI

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