Rest of Asia

Modi says Covid-19 vaccine may be ready in India in a few weeks

PTI/New Delhi
Filed on December 4, 2020

In a virtual meeting with political party leaders, Indian prime minister says healthcare workers, elderly with serious conditions will be given priority

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said India’s vaccination programme against Covid-19 would begin as soon as a go-ahead from scientists is given.

In his closing remarks at an all-party meeting with leaders of various political parties to discuss the Covid-19 pandemic situation in the country, Modi said experts believe the wait for the vaccine will not be long and it may be ready in a few weeks.

The prime minister asserted that healthcare workers involved in treating coronavirus patients, frontline workers and old people suffering from serious conditions would be inoculated on priority.

Nearly eight vaccines are at different stages of trial with their manufacturing assured in India, Modi said.

Three vaccines from India are also at different stages of trial, he said.

“India’s vaccination drive would begin as soon as we get a go-ahead from scientists. The Centre is working on the basis of suggestions from state governments about who will be inoculated in the first phase of the vaccination drive,” he said.

“Priority in this (vaccination) will be given to the healthcare workers involved in treating Covid-19 patients, frontline workers and old people suffering from serious conditions,” he said.

Central and state government teams are working in tandem for the distribution of the vaccine, Modi said, adding that India has expertise for vaccine distribution as well as capacity.

“Our scientists are very confident of succeeding in their endeavour of developing a vaccine against Covid-19. There are names of vaccines from different countries doing the rounds in the market, but the world is keeping a watch on having the cheapest and safest vaccine. That is why, it is natural that the world is watching India,” he said.

Public health will be top priority as far as the vaccine pricing is concerned and states will be fully involved in the process, he said.

In his remarks, Modi also said: “We must make sure rumours are not spread during vaccination, rumours that are anti-national and anti-human. Thus, all political parties must make sure that we save all Indians from such rumours and spread awareness.”

Floor leaders from all parties in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were invited to attend the virtual meeting which started around 10.30am.

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