Hyderabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 11 January said that the state governments will not have to bear any costs towards vaccinating the three crores health workers and frontline workers in the country in the first stage of the vaccination drive.
The PM chaired a high-level meeting with the chief ministers and administrators of all states and union territories to review the status and preparedness for the vaccination drive via video conferencing.
The prime minister said that the country is in a decisive phase of the fight against the virus, with the start of the world's biggest vaccination campaign from 16 January. He highlighted that both the approved vaccines are highly cost-effective in comparison to other vaccines across the world, adding that India would have faced great difficulty if it would have had to depend on foreign vaccines.
The PM noted that India's vast experience with vaccination will prove handy in this endeavour. He said that the priority of vaccination has been decided as per advice of the experts and scientific community after consultation with the states. Health workers, from both government and private sector, will be the first ones to receive the vaccine.
Along with them, Safai Karmacharis, frontline workers, police and paramilitary, home guards, disaster management volunteers and other jawans in civil defence, and revenue officials associated with containment and surveillance of the situation, will also receive the vaccine in the first stage. The total number of such personnel is around three crores.
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. The preparation for infrastructure and logistics has been done with all states and UTs, the PM said.
He said that our new preparations and SOPs for COVID-19 have to be linked up with the old experiences of running universal immunization programmes and conducting elections throughout the country. He noted that the booth-level strategy used for elections needs to be used here as well.
The Prime Minister remarked that the most important factor in this vaccination drive is the 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. The PM underlined the significance of ensuring that real-time data related to vaccination gets uploaded to Co-Win.
After a person receives their 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.
30 crores target in next phase
The PM said that the vaccination drive in India is also significant since several other countries are going to follow this example. He said that the vaccination for COVID-19 has been going on in about 50 countries for past 3 to 4 weeks, and till now, about 2.5 crore people have received the vaccine. India aims to achieve vaccination for 30 crore people in the next few months, he said.
The PM further said that proper mechanisms have been put in place in case a person feels discomfort due to the vaccine, adding that such the mechanism is already in place for universal immunization programme, and it has been further strengthened for this vaccination drive.
Modi underlined the significance of following the COVID-19 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 the 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, NYK, NSS, SHGs etc should be taken.