Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday cautioned citizens and urged them not to be affected by propaganda against the two Made in India vaccines against coronavirus.
Speaking at the launch of the nationwide vaccination drive against the novel coronavirus via video conferencing, PM Modi highlighted that the Indian vaccines are cheaper in comparison to the foreign ones.
"Our scientists and experts were assured about the safety and efficacy of the two Made in India vaccines, only then did they allow the emergency use authorization. That is why citizens don''t need to fall prey to any propaganda, rumours, or misinformation," he said.
"The world has faith in Indian vaccine scientists and our medical system. We have gained this trust due to our track record. Every Indian will be proud that 60 per cent of children across the globe get ''Made in India'' life-saving vaccines," he added.
PM Modi said that the Indian vaccines, made to suit the conditions in the country, will make India win in its fight against the coronavirus.
"Indian vaccines are cheaper in comparison to foreign vaccines. Some foreign made vaccines are available at Rs 5000 and need to be kept at -70 degree celsius temperature. On the other hand, Indian vaccines are made on tried and tested techniques. From storage to transportation, these vaccines are made for Indian conditions. These vaccines will make India win in its fight against the coronavirus," he said further.
Speaking on the occasion about Vande Bharat mission, the Prime Minister said that India stepped up and evacuated not only Indians but also people of other nations.
"In the fight against Corona, we have set an example for the world at many levels. When other countries left their citizens stuck in China amidst this pandemic on their own, India evacuated not only Indians but also people of other nations under the Vande Bharat mission," he added.
Billed as the world''s largest vaccination program, covering the entire length and breadth of the country, the drive aims to first inoculate millions of its healthcare and frontline workers and reach an estimated 3 crore people by the end of its first phase.
A total of 3006 session sites across all states and union territories was virtually connected during the launch. Around 100 beneficiaries will be vaccinated at each session site on the inaugural day, the union health ministry has said.
In the first phase government and private sector health care workers, including Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) workers, will receive the vaccine.
The drive will be held daily from 9 am to 5 pm, except on the days earmarked for routine immunisation programmes.
Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Friday termed the country''s vaccination drive as the "beginning of the end of Covid-19." He also urged people to trust the indigenously manufactured vaccine, saying the government has given emergency use approval after proper scientific scrutiny.
In the next phases of the vaccination drive, people aged over 50, and those who are below 50 years but have serious health conditions or co-morbidities will be vaccinated, according to the health ministry.
Dry-runs at vaccination centres across the country have been held with lakhs of healthcare staff across districts being trained.
The drugs regulatory body of India has currently approved two vaccines. Pune-based Serum Institute of India has developed the Covishield vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University while the Covaxin has been developed by Hyderabad''s Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Medical Council of research (ICMR) and National Institute of Virology.
The vaccination programme in the country will use Co-WIN (Covid Vaccine Intelligence Work), an online digital platform developed by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, which will facilitate real-time information of vaccine stocks, storage temperature and individualized tracking of beneficiaries for COVID-19 vaccine. This digital platform will assist programme managers across all levels while conducting vaccination sessions.
A dedicated 24x7 call centre - 1075 - has also been established for addressing the queries related to Covid-19 pandemic, vaccine rollout and the Co-WIN software.
The full initial procurement amount of 1.65 crore doses of Covishield and Covaxin vaccines against Covid-19 have been allocated to all States/UTs in the proportion of Health Care Workers database, Union Health Ministry stated.
India reported 15,158 new COVID-19 cases, 16,977 discharges and 175 deaths in the last 24 hours, as per the Union Health Ministry''s data on Saturday. The cumulative caseload in the country reached 1,05,42,841 including 2,11,033 active infections and 1,01,79715 recoveries. The death toll has climbed to 1,52,093.
Most of the states have received the first batch of coronavirus vaccine doses including Delhi which has received 2,74,000 vaccine doses, followed by Maharashtra receiving over 9 lakh doses and Andhra Pradesh around with 4.7 lakh doses. (ANI)