NEW DELHI: COVID-19 vaccine will be first given to about one crore health workers from both the public and private sectors, and then to about two crore frontline workers, the Union Health Ministry said in its presentation at the all-party meet on Friday, sources said.
The presentation was given by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan at the meeting, which was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The ministry said that COVID-19 vaccine will be first given to about one crore health workers, including doctors and nurses, the sources said.
Thereafter, it will be given to about two crore frontline workers such as police and armed forces personnel, and municipal workers, among others, they said.
Speaking at the meeting PM Modi also said, “Teams of Central and state governments are working together for vaccine distribution. India has the expertise and capacity in vaccine distribution and we fare better compared to other nations in this matter. We have a very big and experienced network in the field of vaccination. We will fully exploit it.”
The 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." PM Narendra Modi has said a coronavirus vaccine will be ready within a few weeks from now and the government is waiting for a go-ahead from the scientists.
Floor leaders from all parties in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha were invited to attend the virtual meeting which started around 10:30 am. This will be the second all-party meeting called by the government to discuss the COVID-19 situation since the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan are present in the meeting. Besides them, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi and ministers of state in the same ministry Arjun Ram Meghwal and V Muraleedharan, who reached out to floor leaders for the meeting, will also be a part of it.
The meeting also assumes significance as it is being held after Prime Minister Modi's visit to pharmaceutical companies in Ahmadabad, Hyderabad and Pune to review coronavirus vaccine development work there.