New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday virtually chaired a high-level meeting with Chief Ministers and Administrators of all States and Union Territories to review the status and preparedness for COVID-19 vaccination.
The Prime Minister lauded the constant coordination and communication between the Centre and the States, and timely decision making, which has played a big role in the fight against the virus. As a result, the spread of the virus has been contained vis-a-vis several other countries.
As per PMO, the Prime Minister said that the country is in a decisive phase of this fight, with the start of the world’s biggest vaccination campaign from 16th January. He underlined that it’s a matter of pride that both the vaccines for which Emergency Use Authorization has been given are made in India. He highlighted that both the approved vaccines are highly cost-effective in comparison to other vaccines from across the world, adding that India would have faced great difficulty if it would have had to depend on foreign vaccines.
The priority of vaccination has been decided as per the advice of the experts and scientific community after consultation with the States. Health workers, from both government and private sector, will be the first ones to receive the vaccine. Along with them, Safai Karmacharis, other Front Line Workers, police and paramilitary, Home Guards, Disaster Management Volunteers and other jawans in Civil Defence, and Revenue Officials associated with containment and surveillance, will also receive the vaccine in the first stage, PM Modi said.
The Prime Minister announced that State governments will not have to bear any cost towards vaccinating these 3 crore people in the first stage. Centre will bear this cost, he added.
In the second stage, those above 50 years of age, and those below 50 years of age with comorbidities or with a high risk of infection, will be vaccinated. The Prime Minister remarked that the most important factor in this vaccination drive is the identification and monitoring of those who need to be vaccinated. For this, a Co-Win digital platform has been created. With the help of Aadhaar, beneficiaries will be identified as well as timely second dosage will be ensured. The Prime Minister underlined the significance of ensuring that real-time data related to vaccination gets uploaded on Co-Win.
The Prime Minister said that the vaccination drive in India is also significant since several other countries are going to follow us. He said that vaccination for COVID-19 has been going on in about 50 countries for the past 3-4 weeks, and till now, only about 2.5 crore people have received the vaccination. India aims to achieve vaccination for 30 crore people in the next few months.
The Prime Minister further said that proper mechanisms have been put in place in case a person feels discomfort due to the vaccine, adding that such a mechanism is already in place for a universal immunization program, and it has been further strengthened for this vaccination drive.
The Prime Minister underlined the significance of following the COVID-related protocols throughout this endeavor, adding that even those who are receiving the vaccine should continue to follow these precautions to prevent any spread of the virus. He said that all States and UTs will have to put in place mechanisms to keep rumors related to vaccination in check.