Covid-19 vaccine for everyone above 18 from May 1, PM Modi gives go ahead
The Centre on Monday opened the Covid-19 vaccination for everyone above the age of 18 from May 1. The decision was taken at a high-level review meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
PM Modi said that the government has been working hard from over a year to ensure that maximum numbers of Indians are able to get the vaccine in the shortest possible of time. He added that India is vaccinating people at world record pace and "we will continue this with even greater momentum".
The nationwide vaccination programme was launched on January 16 for healthcare and frontline workers. It was expanded to those above the age of 45 on April 1.
He also interacted with the country's leading doctors to review the public health response to Covid-19. PM Modi thanked all the healthcare professionals for helping the country in fight against Covid-19.
"Last year, during the same time, it was due to our doctors' hard work and the nation's strategy that we were able to control the coronavirus wave," PM Modi said while adressing the doctors via video conferencing. "Now that the country is facing the second wave of coronavirus, all the doctors, our frontline workers are confronting the pandemic with full force, and are saving the lives of millions of people," he added.
Talking about the supply of essential medicines and oxygen, PM Modi said that state governments have been given necessary guidelines about these. Many state government, including wort-hit Maharashtra, urged the Centre to provide medical oxygen, claiming that the supply is running short.
PM Modi said that vaccination is the biggest weapon in the fight against coronavirus. He urged the doctors to encourage more and more patients to get vaccinated.
This was the latest meeting that the Prime Minister convened on the Covid-19 situation. He has been holding periodic review meetings on the Covid-19 situation. In his meeting with the chief minister earlier this month, PM Modi had suggested organising a 'Tika Utsav' to ensure more and more people are vaccinated. He also asked the chief ministers to organise awareness camps.
On Monday too, PM Modi asked the doctors to educate people against several rumours on Covid treatment and prevention. "In these difficult times, it is very important that people do not become a victim of panic," said the Prime Minister. PM Modi also encouraged doctors to use tele-medicine for treatment of other diseases, in case there is no emergency.
One of the focus areas in PM Modi's meeting with the doctors was the spread of the disease in smaller Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. He urged doctors to connect with their colleagues working in these cities and give them online consultations to ensure that all protocols are followed correctly emphasising on the need to upgrade resources in such places.