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Governments should work as a team for smooth, sustained COVID-19 vaccination drive: PM Modi

The PM said that any vaccine against coronavirus that is administered to citizens will meet all necessary scientific criteria

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Interacting with the chief ministers and other representatives of states and Union Territories, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the vaccine research has reached almost the final stages and the government is closely monitoring the development process while maintaining contacts with all stakeholders.

The modalities of COVID-19 vaccine delivery, distribution and administration were discussed during the meeting.

“It is not yet decided whether there will be one, two or three doses of vaccine. Their prices are also not decided. We don’t have answers to such questions right now as there are different people in the world making it. The corporate world is involved, there is competition among them, countries have their diplomatic interests, have to wait for WHO also,” Modi said.

He asked the chief ministers to ensure regular monitoring of the state-level steering committee and state and district level taskforces to ensure better results, the Prime Minister’s Office said.

Noting that rumours about side effects of the vaccine may be spread, he emphasised that such attempts need to be tackled through spreading greater awareness, by taking all possible help including of the civil society, National Cadet Corps cadre and National Service Scheme and the media.

“Even the medicines that are popular for about 20 years and used by lakhs of people lead to reactions in some people, even today after 20 years. This is possible even in this case,” PM Modi said in his closing remarks at the meeting with chief ministers.

The prime minister reassured that the government is keeping a close watch on the development of vaccines and is in contact with Indian developers and manufacturers, along with global regulators, governments of other countries, multilateral institutions and international companies.

It will be ensured that the vaccine for citizens meets all necessary scientific criteria, Modi said, asserting that both speed and safety was the focus of vaccine development.

Governments at all levels will have to work together with coordination as a team to ensure that the vaccination drive is smooth, systematic and sustained, he said.

Prime Minister Modi noted that the priority of vaccination is being decided in consultation with the states.

The requirements of additional cold chain storages have also been discussed with the states and they must start working in that direction, he said.

The prime minister also urged states to send their detailed plans on vaccine administration, underlining that a final vaccine distribution strategy will be chalked out in collective coordination with states.

(Edits by EP News Bureau)

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