Covid-19 vaccine: Centre will foot the bill for 3 crore beneficiaries, says Modi

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 11, 2021

Defends antidotes, saying ‘have a lot of faith in scientists, regulatory process’

The Centre will bear the cost of inoculating tbree crore healthcare workers and frontline Covid warriors who will be covered in the first phase. Prime Minister Narendra Modi told this to States and Union Territories at a meeting today.

This implied that the cost of vaccinating 27 crore people such as those above 50 years of age and those below 50 years but with co-morbidities will have to be borne either by the States or the beneficiaries themselves. The Finance Ministry recently released ₹480 crore towards Covid-19 vaccination expenses and the sum has been disbursed to the State according to the number of beneficiaries.

Vaccination from Jan 16

India is all set to launch its vaccination drive from January 16.

Vaccinating 30 crore people over the next few months is going to be a mammoth task, the Prime Minister said, adding that 50 countries that have started the exercise have been able to cover only 2.5 crore people so far. “Systems are in place to make our vaccination programme a success,” Modi told Chief Ministers and Health Ministers of States, who participated in the virtual event.

The Prime Minister said that with four more vaccine candidates in the pipeline, the country may have more options by the time the second leg of the first phase (wherein 27 crore beneficiaries are to be covered) commences.

Defending the vaccines, Modi said the country has a lot of faith in its scientists and regulatory processes followed by them. He said these vaccines are cost-effective and developed keeping India's economic realities in mind. India could not have afforded to import vaccines developed in other countries.

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, after interacting with Prime Minister, told reporters, “For Phase-I of the vaccination,. the State has got 24 lakh syringes, 10 walk-in coolers, four walk-in freezers, 3,201 ILRs, 3039 deep-freezers, 3,312 cold boxes, 46,591 vaccine carriers and 2,25,749 ice packs.”

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao said: “The government has made arrangements to administer vaccines at at 1,213 centres, including all PHCs, and 866 cold chain points have been created.

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee sought scientific data on the efficacy of the vaccines, and wanted to know why States do not have the option of choosing between them.

(With inputs from Bengaluru and Hyderabad, Kolkata Bureaus)

Published on January 11, 2021

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