Centre to bear expenses for first round of Covid-19 vaccination : PM Modi


Centre to bear expenses f
Central Government will bear the total cost of immunising over 3 crore people with covid-19 vaccines in the first phase of vaccination drive starting from January 16, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday.
The Prime Minister said that State Governments will not have to bear any cost towards vaccinating these priority groups in the first stage.
Chief Minister N Biren also attended the video conference which was also attended by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
The Prime Minister was chairing a high-level meeting with Chief Ministers and Administrators of all States and Union Territories on Monday to review the status and preparedness for covid-19 vaccination via video conferencing.
“The priority of vaccination has been decided as per advice of the experts and scientific community after consultation with the States," Modi said adding that health workers, from both Government and private sector, will be the first ones to receive the vaccine. Along with them, Safai Karmacharis, other frontline 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, the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister said that India aims to achieve vaccination for 30 crore people in the next few months and the country is in a “decisive phase" of this fight, with the start of the world’s biggest vaccination campaign from 16th January.
“It's a matter of pride that both the vaccines for which Emergency Use Authorization has been given are made in India. 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," he said.
In the second stage, those above 50 years of age, and those below 50 years of age with comorbidities or with high risk of infection, will be vaccinated. Preparation for infrastructure and logistics has been done with all States and UTs, the Prime Minister said, adding that dry runs for vaccination has also been done across the country.
“Our new preparations and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Covid have to be linked up with our old experiences of running universal immunization programmes and conducting elections throughout the country. The booth level strategy used for elections needs to be used here as well," said Modi.
The Prime Minister pointed out that the most important factor in this vaccination drive is identification and monitoring of those who need to be vaccinated.
“For this, 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," said Modi.
The Prime Minister underlined the significance of ensuring that real time data related to vaccination gets uploaded on Co-Win. “After a person receives the first dose of vaccination, Co-Win will immediately generate a digital vaccination certificate. This certificate will also act as a reminder for the second dose, after which, a final certificate will be given," he said.
Prime Minister said that vaccination for covid-19 has been going on in about 50 countries since past 3-4 weeks, and till now, only about 2.5 crore people have received vaccination.
“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 universal immunization programme, and it has been further strengthened for this vaccination drive," he said.
The Prime Minister also underlined the significance of following the COVID related protocols and said 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 rumours related to vaccination in check. For this, help from religious and social organizations, Nehru Yuva Kendra (NYK) Sangathan, National Service Scheme (NSS), Self Help Groups (SHGs) etc should be taken.
India has authorised two Covid-19 vaccines-indigenous Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin or even the Oxford-Astra Zeneca & Serum Institute of India vaccine Covishield for emergency use.
The Prime Minister said that both the vaccines -- Covishield and Covaxin -- are "more cost-effective", adding that dependency on foreign vaccines could have been costly for us.
The Prime Minister added that the call for vaccination process to begin as been taken after "scientific validation" and their final opinion.
The meeting, held virtually, was aimed at reviewing the coordination between Centre and the States and to ensure efficient delivery of vaccination and efficient management of drive.
Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik has reacted to the PM-CMs' meet and said that PM Modi should get vaccinated first so that doubts are "done away with".
"Covid-19 vaccination is about to begin. Still, there are doubts among people regarding vaccines. We want PM Modi to begin this initiative by getting vaccinated himself so that doubts are done away with, trust is built and PM creates a new history," Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik said.

Courtesy The Mint and NDTV