These 3 crore people constitute India’s healthcare and frontline workers across all states.In an interaction with chief ministers of all states on the current COVID-19 situation, on Monday (January 11, 2021), Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the Central government has decided not to let the state governments bear the cost of vaccines for 3 crore people. These 3 crore people constitute India’s healthcare and frontline workers across all states. Free of cost vaccination against the novel Coronavirus will be provided to these workers by the Government of India. The decision comes five days ahead of nationwide COVID vaccine rollout in India on January 16.
In the meeting with state CMs, PM Modi talked about the approval of two coronavirus vaccines for restricted emergency use by India’s drug regulator. “We (centre and state governments) have discussed the largest vaccination drive that will happen here along with the provision of homegrown Covid vaccines. Everything has been discussed in detail with district level officials also,” said Modi. He added that both vaccines that received approval in India for emergency use, are made in India only and there are four more vaccine candidates in testing stages.
Going forward, it is likely that India will have more vaccines when the second phase of vaccination is started where people above 50 years of age will be vaccinated. He further highlighted that Indian vaccines are safe and much more cost-effective than the ones that are being given in other countries. “With experience in vaccination drives, India has taken a decision to first provide vaccines to those, who need it the most. Therefore, first healthcare workers will be given vaccines followed by others who worked on the front line. After this, those who are and above 50 years of age along with those on a high risk of getting the Covid infection, will be vaccinated,” said Modi.
Meanwhile, according to news agency ANI, Serum Institute of India (SII) (manufacturer who is producing Oxford-Astrazeneca’s Covid vaccine in India) has received vaccine purchase orders from the Indian government. The vaccine will be available at Rs 200 per dose. India’s drugs regulator has also approved Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country.
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