Covid-19 vaccination drive: PM Modi to address the nation at 10.30am
After two mock drills, world's largest coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccination drive is set to begin in India on Saturday. It will be launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at 10.30am, followed by his address to the nation.
The campaign will be held from 9am to 5pm on all days but those earmarked for routine immunisation programme. A record 300,000 health care workers across the country are scheduled to get vaccinated on the first day of the campaign and as many as 3,006 vaccination sites have been set up nationally for the day.
"This will be the world’s largest vaccination programme covering the entire length and breadth of the country," PM Modi's office said in a statement this week.
The funding of the first two groups of those getting vaccinated—the healthcare and frontline workers—will be done entirely by the Centre. The drive will be held for these groups at various public health care facilities both in rural and urban India.
Serum Institute of India’s Covishield vaccine has reached all state capitals and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, a backup to Covishield, has also reached some states.
In his speech, PM Modi is expected to assure the nation that the vaccines are safe to use as they underwent a rigorous process of testing. He is also expected to talk about the need to fight against the misinformation campaign by vested interest groups aimed at creating fear among the people, an official familiar with the matter told Hindustan Times.
In a meeting with chief ministers of states with a high number of Covid-19 cases held earlier last month, the PM had said that the government will ensure every citizen gets a coronavirus vaccine but the candidates must first pass all scientific tests. "If speed is important, then safety is equally important," he had said.
According to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, who also attended the meeting, “PM made it clear that in the first stage, the vaccine will be given to the frontline health workers, in the second stage to the police personnel, sanitation workers etc; to those above 50 years of age in third stage; and to those with co-morbid conditions in the fourth stage.”
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