Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting with Chief Ministers and Administrators of all States and Union Territories to review the status and preparedness for COVID-19 vaccination on 11 January 2021, via video conferencing.
Coordinated battle against the virus
The Prime Minister lauded the constant coordination and communication between the Centre and the States, and timely decision making, which has played a big role in the fight against the virus. As a result, the spread of the virus has been contained vis-a-vis several other countries. He also appreciated the State governments for working zealously in this battle.
World’s biggest vaccination campaign
The Prime Minister said that the country is in a decisive phase of this fight with the start of the world’s biggest vaccination campaign from 16 January. He underlined that it’s a matter of pride that both the vaccines for which Emergency Use Authorization has been given are made in India.
He highlighted that 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.
The Prime Minister noted that India’s vast experience with vaccination will prove handy in this endeavour and that the priority of vaccination has been decided as per the 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, other Front Line 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 total number of such personnel is around 3 crores.
The Prime Minister announced that State governments will not have to bear any cost towards vaccinating these 3 crore people in the first stage and that the Centre will bear this cost.
In the second stage, those above 50 years of age, and those below 50 years of age with comorbidities or with a 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 have also been done across the country.
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.
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.
Target of 30 crore in next few months
The Prime Minister said that the vaccination drive in India is also significant since several other countries are going to follow us. India aims to achieve vaccination for 30 crore people in the next few months, he said.
The Prime Minister 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 immunization programme and it has been further strengthened for this vaccination drive.
The Prime Minister 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 organizations, NYK, NSS, SHGs etc. should be taken.
Vaccination preparedness and feedback
The Chief Ministers expressed happiness at the rollout of vaccination. They discussed some issues and concerns about vaccines, which were clarified in the meeting.
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.