Chairing a meeting with Chief Ministers and administrators of all states and union territories to review the status and preparedness for COVID-19 vaccination Prime Minister, Narendra Modi announced that State governments will not have to bear any cost towards vaccinating the three crore people in the first stage. Centre will bear this cost.
The three crore people in the first phase include health workers, from both government and private sector, 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, detailed the PM. 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.
Highlighting about vaccination campaign which would start from January 16, the PM informed that both the approved vaccines for which Emergency Use Authorisation has been given, are made in India and are highly cost-effective in comparison to other vaccines from across the world, adding that India would have faced great difficulty if it had to depend on foreign vaccines.
Preparation for infrastructure and logistics has been done with all states and UTs, the PM said, adding that dry runs for vaccination has also been done across the country. He said that new preparations and SOPs for COVID have to be linked up with the country’s old experiences of running universal immunisation programmes and conducting elections throughout the country. He noted that the booth level strategy used for elections needs to be used here as well.
Refering to the role of the Co-Win digital platform, the PM said that with the help of Aadhaar, beneficiaries will be identified as well as timely second dosage will be ensured. He 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.
“Vaccination drive in India is also significant since several other countries are going to follow us. 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. India aims to achieve vaccination for 30 crore people in the next few months,” he said.
He 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 universal immunisation programme, and it has been further strengthened for this vaccination drive.
The PM underlined the significance of following the COVID related protocols throughout this endeavour, 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 rumours related to vaccination in check. For this, help from religious and social organisations, NYK, NSS, SHGs etc should be taken.
The Union Home Minister said that the country has performed better than most of the other countries in facing COVID under the leadership of the Prime Minister and the Chief Ministers. He added that the coordination displayed by the States in this endeavour till now should also continue in the vaccination drive as well.
The Chief Ministers expressed happiness at the rollout of vaccination. They discussed some issues and concerns about vaccines, which were clarified in the meeting.
The Union Health Secretary gave a presentation on preparedness for the vaccination drive. He outlined that vaccination would be based on Jan Bhagidari, and there would be orderly and smooth implementation without compromising on the existing healthcare setup. He also gave an overview of logistics preparedness for the drive.