India is all set for the world’s biggest inoculation drive beginning this week with vaccine shots to corona warriors in the first phase. Speaking at an interaction with chief ministers on vaccination rollout, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that state governments will not have to bear the expenses of Covid-19 vaccination of 3 crore health and frontline workers in the first stage.
“Healthcare workers from both government and private sectors will be the first ones to receive the vaccine. Along with them, sanitation workers, police and paramilitary personnel, 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 phase. The total number of such personnel is around three crores,” PM Modi said.
He further added that the priority of vaccination has been decided as per the advice of the experts and scientific community.
“The country is about to enter a very decisive phase of the fight against the COVID-19, which is the phase of vaccination. It is a matter of pride for us that two vaccines that have been provided emergency use authorization are made in India. Not only that, four more vaccines are in progress,” he said.
The prime minister also sought to dispel concerns over the approval given to Covaxin which is still in the phase-3 clinical trials. He asserted that scientists have taken all precautions to provide citizens with effective vaccines. “I am satisfied that we worked together by standing united in COVID crisis, quick decisions were taken with full sensitivity. In the second phase, those above 50 years and those under 50 years with co-morbid conditions will be vaccinated,” he said.
Talking about the COVID-19 situation in India, Modi said the country is in a much better place than many others in terms of the pandemic’s spread, and added that this is a matter of happiness but should not induce carelessness.
The panic visible among the people six-eight months back is no longer there, and the increasing confidence among them in the fight against the pandemic has had a positive impact on economic activities as well, the prime minister said.
The Prime Minister said 30 crore people will be vaccinated against COVID-19 in the next few months.
On Saturday last week, Modi had reviewed the status of COVID-19 and vaccine preparedness across states and union territories at a high-level meeting.
In December 2020, the UK became the first country to start vaccination, followed by several other nations. The novel coronavirus was first detected in China’s Wuhan in December 2019. It has killed nearly 20 lakh people globally and infected over 9 crores since then.