Centre to Bear Expenses for 1st Phase COVID Vaccination: PM to CMs

PM Modi said the coordination between Centre and states in fighting COVID-19 is a great example of federalism.

3 min read

Holding a virtual meeting with chief ministers on the coronavirus vaccination programme in India, due to commence on 16 January, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, 11 January, said the coordination between Centre and states in fighting COVID-19 is a great example of federalism.

He pointed out that it will be the Centre and not the states, that will bear the expenses for the first-phase vaccination of three crore ‘corona warriors’ and frontline workers.

“If you look at the number of health and frontline workers across all states, it stands at around 3 crore. It has been decided that state governments will not have to bear the expenses of vaccination of these 3 crore people in the first phase. The Government of India will bear these expenses.”
PM Modi, as quoted by ANI

‘Politicians Shouldn’t Jump the Queue’

Pointing out that the aim is to vaccinate 30 crore people in the next few months, Modi said that under the second phase, those above 50 years and those under 50 with co-morbidities will be vaccinated.

Two vaccine candidates – Serum Institute’s ‘Covishield’ and Bharat Biotech’s ‘Covaxin’ – were earlier given emergency use approval by India’s top drug regulator.

The PM also pointed out that public representatives will not be part of the 3 crore health and frontline workers who will be vaccinated first.

According to sources cited by ANI, Modi, during the interaction, stressed on ensuring that politicians don’t jump the queue and take the vaccine only when their turn comes.


‘Two Approved Vaccines Cost-Effective, Developed as Per Our Needs’

Calling the two approved vaccines “cost-effective” and “developed as per our needs”, Modi called for states to ensure that no rumours regarding vaccination are spread, saying social and religious organisations should also be involved.

“Our scientists, medical experts have taken all precautions to provide our citizens with effective vaccines… Growing confidence among people in our COVID-19 fight has had positive impact on economic activities.”
PM Modi, as quoted by PTI

COVID Vaccination Starts from 16 January

On Saturday, the Centre had said, “After the detailed review, it was decided that in view of the forthcoming festivals, including Lohri, Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Magh Bihu etc., the COVID-19 vaccination will start from 16th January 2021.”

“On 16th January, India takes a landmark step forward in fighting COVID-19. Starting that day, India’s nation-wide vaccination drive begins. Priority will be given to our brave doctors, healthcare workers, frontline workers including Safai Karamcharis (sic),” PM Modi had tweeted.

Monday marked the first interaction between PM Modi and the CMs after the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) gave restricted, emergency-use approval to two vaccines – Oxford AstraZeneca's vaccine 'Covishield', manufactured in India by Pune's Serum Institute of India, and Bharat Biotech's 'Covaxin'.

The PM has earlier spoken at least six times with the chief ministers through videoconference following the COVID-19 outbreak in the country since the beginning of 2020, IANS reported.

According to the Press Information Bureau (PIB), on Saturday, PM Modi had chaired a high-level meeting to review the status of preparedness for COVID-19 vaccination of the central government and that of the states. The meeting was reportedly attended by the Cabinet secretary, the principal secretary to PM, the health secretary, and other concerned senior officials.

(With inputs from PTI, ANI and IANS.)

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