India would not have to wait long for a vaccine against Covid-19, according to expert opinion, and the first shots could be available in a matter of weeks, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at an all-party meeting on Friday to address the pandemic situation.
The PM said the price of the vaccine would be finalized after consultations with state governments, keeping public health interests in mind. He strongly urged political leaders attending the conference to refute speculation about the vaccine and said the war against the virus would be harmed by false allegations. The recent uproar over an adverse incident during a vaccine trial and questions about “vaccine hesitancy” in the general public seemed to be his guide.
India to leverage an experienced & robust vaccination network: PM
- He added that eight vaccines which would be manufactured in India were being produced and referred to three home-grown initiatives.
- He narrowly confirmed reports on India’s vaccine prioritization programme, stating that first the shots will be taken by health and frontline staff and elderly people who are vulnerable to the virus. He said India’s policies were influenced by science and expert advice, and in terms of disease prevention, care, and lower mortality, this had shown good results. This, he said, will continue to be the case.
Modi said the Centre and State teams worked together on the vaccine policy in collaboration. "In this respect, we are much stronger than a few other nations. We have a large and experienced vaccination network and these benefits will be capitalized on by the country,” he added.