Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said experts believe that Covid-19 vaccine could be ready in a few weeks, and that frontline workers, healthcare, and elderly persons will be given priority in vaccination. The nation-wide vaccination programme would begin once scientists approve of it, said Modi at a virtual meeting with prominent political leaders on the coronavirus situation and vaccine challenges in the country.
The deliberations are underway with the state government over the price and distribution of the vaccine, said Modi underlining that decision will be taken keeping public health in top priority. He also assured that the Centre and states are working in teams for the distribution of vaccines, claiming that the nation has expertise for vaccine distribution as well as capacity.
Modi said that three indigenously made vaccines are at various stages of trials, while nearly eight vaccines in clinical trials have manufacturing assured in India. He informed us that our scientists are confident in successfully making Covid-19 vaccine, adding that the world is watching India for a safe and cheap coronavirus vaccine.
Further on vaccine distribution, Modi said the country has one of the largest networks with experienced vaccination programmes. The logistical support and cold-chain storage are being measured with the help from states, he said. For vaccine stock and real time information, a special software has also been developed, he added.
Apart from PM Modi, the floor leaders of all parties from both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha attended the meeting. Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, NCP leader Sharad Pawar, TMC leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay, TRS leader Nama Nageswara Rao, Shiv Sena leader Vinayak Raut, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary were among 12 leaders who attended the meeting. Beside them, Defence minister Rajnath Singh, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Home Minister Amit Shah, Parliamentary Affairs Ministers Prahlad Joshi, ministers of state Arjun Ram Meghwal and V Muraleedharan were also present at the all-party meeting.
This was the second all-party meeting being held by the government to discuss the COVID-19 situation since the outbreak of the pandemic. While the first meeting was held in April. Last week , Modi made visits to three pharmaceutical companies in Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Pune to review Covid-19 vaccine development work there.
Meanwhile, India has recorded overall 95.71 lakh coronavirus cases with 36,595 fresh infections. The total fatalities mounted to 1,39,188 after 540 fresh cases registered on Friday.