Addressing the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday announced that the Centre will provide free vaccines to the states for all citizens above the age of 18 years.
Terming that COVID-19 is the biggest pandemic in the last 100 years, Modi informed that the second wave of the COVID-19 is showing signs of receding and many states have started easing lockdowns.
Appealing to states to use lockdowns only as the last resort, he said, “A lot of demands were raised that the states should get rights for their own Covid management. States demanded vaccine decentralisation, questions were raised on age group, on why senior citizens were vaccinated first. After giving it a lot of thought, we changed the way vaccinations were given. We thought to let the states monitor 25 per cent of the vaccination work. It was given to the states on May 1. Within two weeks of May, some states started saying openly that the earlier system was good. More states joined in, even those who’d endorsed decentralization.”
Further adding that much of the vaccination programme happened under the Centre’s watch, Modi said,” You can imagine what would have happened if our frontline workers, doctors were not vaccinated before the second wave. With most of them being vaccinated, they could dedicate themselves to service of the people.”
Informing that research is being conducted for the nasal vaccine is underway, he informed that to increase vaccine availability, the process of procuring vaccines from abroad has been sped up. In this direction, the trial of two vaccines is underway.
Emphasizing that vaccine supply will be increasing in the coming days, Modi said, “Seven companies in the country are producing different vaccines and three vaccine trials are at an advanced stage. In the last one year, India has launched two made-in-India vaccines. Today, more than 23 crore vaccine doses have been administered.”