Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to nation on Monday tore into the media and opposition propaganda on vaccination drive conducted in the country. PM Modi in his address also announced that the Centre will procure vaccines from manufacturers and provide it further to states for free. The 25% vaccine procurement by private hospitals in states will continue.
He began his address by offering his condolences to those who have lost their loved ones to the second wave of the pandemic.
The Prime Minister said that significant efforts were made to increase the supply of medical oxygen in the country, the requirements of which had increased to unprecedented levels due to the second wave of the pandemic. He said that medical oxygen and other medicines were brought in from abroad.
Prime Minister Modi has also emphasised the efforts undertaken by the Indian Government to boost vaccination efforts in the country. He highlighted the fact that his government had launched Mission Indradhanush to boost vaccination coverage across the country. He mentioned the fact that earlier, it would take years to import vaccines from abroad.
He also said, “Within 5-6 yrs we have increased our vaccination coverage by 60% to over 90%, meaning we increased vaccination speed. To save children from new diseases, we included new vaccines in our efforts, as we were worried about children and the poor.”
Other countries would complete vaccination by the time vaccination efforts began in India, he said. He also hailed the fact that India now has two made-in-India vaccines.
The Prime Minister said that vaccine manufacturers were aided in their efforts by providing adequate resources.
The Prime Minister also said that the vaccination policy prioritized those most at risk to it. Therefore, health workers were prioritised.
Narendra Modi also pointed out that there was a great campaign to accord greater power to states to vaccinate their citizens. Therefore, the Central Government decided that 25% of the entire supply of vaccines will be available for procurement by the states.
But soon after, the very people who were campaigning for greater power to states for vaccination turned out and said that the Central Government supply the vaccines themselves to states. Narendra Modi said that at least the states had recognised the issue and therefore, heeding to their demands, the vaccination policy will revert to what was practiced before.
In the next two weeks, the policy will shift to the central government procuring 75% of the vaccines and making it available to states. 25% will still be available for private hospitals to purchase. Private hospitals will be able to charge a maximum of Rs. 150 for their services.
Narendra Modi also cautioned against those spreading misinformation regarding vaccines and urged everyone, especially the youth, to spread awareness about vaccines.