Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday cautioned the countrymen against any misleading rumours on coronavirus vaccine, ahead of a mega inoculation drive beginning January 16. He was interacting with chief ministers of all states via video conferencing.
Modi said the government was aiming to vaccinate as many as 30 crore people in the next few months. "Around 3 crore healthcare workers and frontline workers will be vaccinated in the first phase of vaccination. In the second phase, those above 50 years and those under 50 years who suffer co-morbid conditions will be vaccinated," the prime minister said.
He said the first phase will have onboard government and private health workers. Sanitation workers, other frontline workers, defense forces, police, and other paramilitary forces will also be vaccinated in the first phase, he said.
Modi informed that the state governments will not have to bear the expenses of vaccination of the 3 crore people in the first phase. "If you look at the number of health and frontline workers across all states, it stands at around 3 crores. It has been decided that state governments will not have to bear the expenses of vaccination of these 3 crore people in the first phase. Government of India will bear these expenses," he said.
"Public representatives are not on the priority list. Only the frontline and healthcare workers are on the list. The fight against coronavirus is an example of India's federalism," Modi aid.
"India is entering into a decisive battle against Covid-19 and we should not let our guard down now. We are going to start the vaccination drive from January 16. It is a matter of pride for us that the two approved vaccines for Covid-19 are both Made in India," he added.
The Prime Minister said that both the Indian vaccines are more cost effective than any other vaccine in the world.