Centre will bear expenses for first phase of Covid vaccination to all the frontline workers

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during an interaction with chief ministers of all states to discuss the COVID-19 situation and the vaccination roll-out in the country.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that the Centre will bear the cost of vaccinating about 3 crore healthcare and frontline workers against the coronavirus in the first phase of India’s massive inoculation drive.

Describing India’s Covid vaccination drive as the world’s biggest vaccination exercise, which will kick start from January 16, PM Modi said over 30 crore citizens will get the jabs in the next few months in India against only 2.5 crore people vaccinated so far in over 50 countries in around a month.

In the meeting with CMs, PM Modi also urged states to ensure no rumours regarding vaccination get spread and social, religious groups need to be involved in this.

On January 3, India had approved vaccines developed by the Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech for emergency use. The Serum Institute is the local maker of Covishield, the vaccine developed by Oxford University and pharmaceuticals company AstraZeneca.

Bharat Biotech has manufactured India’s first indigenous vaccine candidate Covaxin in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research and the National Institute of Virology.

In India’s vaccination drive, priority will be given to about 3 crore frontline workers, followed by around 27 crore people above the age of 50 and others with co-morbidities. The country has also conducted two dry runs to understand the best way to administer vaccine shots and plug loopholes in logistics and training.

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