“Experts Expect Vaccine To Be Ready In Few Weeks”: PM At All-Party Meet

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Experts believe that a COVID vaccine “will be ready in the next few weeks”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday during an all-party meeting, asserting that India’s vaccination programme would begin as soon as scientists give the permission.

“Experts expect that the vaccine will be ready within next few weeks itself. Once scientists approve it, the nation-wide vaccination drive will be started in India. Our scientists are very confident of succeeding in their endeavour of making COVID-19 vaccine. The world is keeping a watch on the cheapest and safe vaccine,” he said during the meeting which was attended by about 12 leaders from prominent political parties.

PM Modi, who, last week visited India’s top vaccine hubs to personally review the development of coronavirus vaccine and the manufacturing process also assured that the country has the necessary infrastructure to manufacture the vaccine at a large scale. Nearly eight vaccines are at different stages of trial with their manufacturing assured in India, PM Modi said.

“The vaccine distribution and administration is given to a national experts group. Advice will be taken from them on a comprehensive and real-time manner. India has the facilities needed to manufacture the vaccine at a large scale. In fact, our preparation is better than most others,” PM Modi said at the meeting, which is the second such meet called by the government since the outbreak of the pandemic.

Three vaccines from India are also at different stages of trial, he said.

“Centre is in talks with state governments over the price of vaccine and decision regarding it will be taken keeping public health as topmost priority,” he added.

Frontline healthcare workers, who include police personnel and municipal staff, and old people suffering from serious conditions would be inoculated on priority, he said.

From the time of fear and apprehensions in the months of February and March, when India reported its first COVID cases, to this atmosphere of “hope and confidence” in December, India has come a long way, he said.

“India is one of the few countries where the testing and recovery rates are very high and the mortality rate is very low. Compared to developed countries, India has fought against COVID much better and has managed to save a lot of lives,” PM Modi said. 

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