Modi to get Covid vaccine in next phase of India's mega inoculation drive
Publish- January 21, 2021, 01:21 PM
S Kumar - UNB Delhi Correspondent
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and all provincial chief ministers are likely to receive Covid vaccines in the second phase of the country's mega inoculation drive, a move aimed at allaying concerns about the safety of the jabs.
"Apart from the Prime Minister and the state chief ministers, lawmakers above 50 and those with comorbidities are likely to get the Covid vaccine shots in the full glare of the media. This will help build confidence among the masses regarding Covid-19 vaccines," a government official told the media in the national capital Thursday.
The Indian PM rolled out the world's largest Covid-19 inoculation programme Saturday, which aims at eventually inoculating the country's 1.3 billion people against coronavirus. However, the response has been tepid so far.
In fact, there has been a sharp fall in the number of healthcare workers taking the Covid vaccine since, following reports of several cases of minor and severe side-effects. A couple of deaths have also been reported since Saturday. Sanitation and health workers were the first to receive the Covid vaccine across the country.
Two 'Made in India' jabs, one developed by the Serum Institute of India (SII) in collaboration with Oxford University and AstraZeneca, and the other by Bharat Biotech, are being given.
At the launch of the world's biggest vaccination drive, Modi urged citizens not to pay heed to rumours regarding the safety and efficacy of the vaccines. "The Drug Controller General of India gave approval after they were satisfied with the data of the two vaccines. So stay away from rumours. Our vaccine developers have a global credibility."
"India's vaccines are developed in a way keeping in mind the conditions of the country. They will give a decisive victory to our country," he had said.
In the first phase, some three crore healthcare and other frontline workers -- called 'Covid Warriors' -- are to get the vaccines for free. In the next phase, those above 50 years and those under 50 with serious underlying health conditions will get the shots. "In the second phase, 30 crore people will be vaccinated," the Prime Minister had said.
After the US, India has recorded the second-highest number of Covid infections in the world. However, of late, the infection rate has fallen sharply, which many experts have attributed to development of herd immunity against Covid.