Prime Minister's Office

English rendering of PM's closing remarks at meeting with CMs on Covid-19 situation and vaccination rollout

Posted On: 11 JAN 2021 8:02PM by PIB Delhi

We have just discussed in detail the Made in India Corona vaccine and the world's biggest vaccination campaign. A lot of things have been detailed in the presentation. A detailed discussion has happened with officers at the district level of our states and there have been good suggestions from some states. This communication and coordination between the Centre and the states has played a very crucial role in the fight against corona. In a way, we have presented the best example of federalism in this fight.


Today is also the death anniversary of late Lal Bahadur Shastri ji, the former prime minister of our country. I pay my glowing tributes to him. In 1965, Shastri ji made an important point in a conference of Administrative Services which I want to mention here today. He said: “The basic idea of governance, as I see it, is to hold the society together so that it can develop and march towards certain goals. The task of the government is to facilitate this evolution, this process.”I am satisfied that all of us worked unitedly during this crisis period of Corona and we all tried to follow the lessons that Lal Bahadur Shastri ji had imparted. During this period, quick decisions were taken with sensitivity, necessary resources were also mobilized and we continued to sensitize the people of the country, and as a result, the Corona infection in India has not spread as we have seen in other countries of the world. People have come out of the fear and apprehensions that were there among the countrymen 7-8 months ago. It is a better situation now, but we have to ensure that we are not careless. The impact of the growing confidence of the countrymen is also positively visible on economic activities. I also compliment your state administrations for working day and night.


Now our country is entering a decisive phase in the fight against Corona. This phase is of vaccination. As mentioned here, we are launching the world's largest vaccination campaign from 16th January. It is a matter of pride for all of us that the two vaccines that have been given emergency use authorization are both made in India. Not only that,four more vaccines are also progressing well. As I say that we will discuss again once the 60-70 percent work is done in the first round of vaccination. After that more vaccines will be available and we will be in a better position to make our future plans. Therefore, we will consider vaccinating those above 50 years of age in the second part as there are possibilities of more vaccines by then.


Our experts have taken all precautions to provide an effective vaccine to the countrymen. And now we have been briefed in detail by the scientific community. And you will know that whenever I spoke with the Chief Ministers about it, I have always maintained that any decision that we take will be based on the advice of the scientific community. We will consider the scientific community as the final word and we will follow accordingly. Many people used to say, "See, the vaccine has been launched in the world. What India is doing, India is sleeping and infections have crossed several lakhs.” Such was an outcry. But it was our view that it will be appropriate for us to follow the advice of the scientific community and the responsible people as and when it comes and we are moving in that direction. One important thing that I want to reiterate is that both our vaccines are highly cost effective in comparison to other vaccines from across the world. You can imagine that India would have faced great difficulty if it would have had to depend solely on foreign vaccines for the corona vaccination. These vaccines have been developed keeping in view India's conditions and circumstances. The experience of vaccination in India and the systems that are in place to reach the far-flung areas is going to be very useful in the corona vaccination programme.


It has been decided after consultations with all the states as to who will be given priority at the beginning of the vaccination campaign. Our effort is first to provide corona vaccine to those who are busy day and night in the health care of the countrymen. Our health workers, government or private, will be vaccinated first. At the same time, safai karamcharis, other front line workers, military forces, police and central forces, home guards, all civil defense personnel, including disaster management volunteers, revenue staff in containment and surveillance are also being vaccinated in the first phase. If we look at the number of health workers, front line workers from different states of the country, it is about 3 crore. It has been decided that the expenditure that will be incurred for giving vaccines to these 3 crore people in the first phase will be borne by the Government of India and not the state governments.


In the second phase of vaccination, in a way, it will be the third phase, but if we treat these three crores as one, then it will be the second phase. All people above 50 years of age those below 50 years of age with comorbidities or with high risk of infection will be vaccinated. You are all aware that in the past few weeks, preparations from the necessary infrastructure to logistics have been completed in consultation with all the states and union territories by making modules by holding regular meetings. Dry runs have also been completed in almost every district of the country. It also shows our capability to hold dry runs in all the districts in such a big country. We now have to link our new preparations and SOPs of Covid with our old experiences. There are already several universal immunization programmes running in Indiasuccessfully. We have also run a comprehensive campaign against diseases like Measles and Rubella. We also have a very good experience of holding the world’s biggest election and providing voting facilities to every nook and corner of the country. We have to use the booth level strategy that we make in this case also.


The most important thing in this vaccination campaign is the identification and monitoring of people who are to be vaccinated. For this, a digital platform called Co-WIN has also been created using modern technology. With the help of Aadhaar, the beneficiaries will also be identified and it will also be ensured that they get the second dose in time. I have a special request to all of you to ensure that the real time data related to vaccination is uploaded on Co-WIN. The slightest omission can also derail the mission. Co-WIN will generate a digital vaccination certificate after the first vaccine. The beneficiary is required to give the certificate immediately after his vaccination so that he does not have to come again to get the certificate. This certificate will reveal who has been vaccinated, and it will also serve as a reminder as to when the second dose will be administered to him. The final certificate will be given after the second dose.


Many countries in the world will follow how India goes about it, and therefore, there is a huge responsibility on us. There is another important fact that we have to keep in mind. Vaccination has been going on for 3-4 weeks in 50 countries in the world.In about a month, about 25 million people have been vaccinated all over the world. They have their own preparations, they have their own experiences, they have their own strength and they are doing it in their own way. But now in India, we have to achieve the target of vaccination of about 30 crore population in the next few months. India has made elaborate preparations in the past months, anticipating this challenge. Necessary arrangements have also been made in case somebody feels any unease due to the Corona vaccine. We already have a mechanism for this in the Universal Immunization Programme. It has been further strengthened for corona vaccination.


In between these vaccines and vaccination, we also have to remember that the Covid related protocols that we have been following have to be maintained throughout the process. A little bit of slackness can do harm. Not only that, those who are being vaccinated will also have to ensure that they follow the precautions that they have been taking to prevent infection. There is another thing on which we have to work very seriously. Every state, every union territory, has to ensure that there are no rumours or vaccine-related propaganda. There should not be any ifs and buts. Many selfish elements of the country and the world can try to hinder our campaign. There may be corporate competition and some may use the pride of the country to further their interests. A lot of things can happen. We have to provide accurate information to every citizen of the country so as to thwart any such effort. We have to involve religious and social institutions like NYK, NSS, self-help groups, professional bodies, Rotary Lions Clubs and Red Cross, etc. We also have to keep in mind that our other routine health services and other vaccination campaigns continue to run properly. We know that we are starting the corona vaccination on 16th January, but if the routine vaccination date falls on the next day, i.e., 17th January, that should also run smoothly.

Lastly, I must talk to you about another serious issue. Bird flu has been confirmed in nine states of the country. These states are Kerala, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Maharashtra. An action plan has been prepared by the Ministry of Animal Husbandry to deal with bird flu which requires prompt adherence. District magistrates also have a big role to play. I urge all the chief ministerial colleagues of the affected states to guide all the district magistrates through theirchief secretaries. The governments in the states where bird flu has not yet reached will also have to be fully vigilant.All the states and local administrations have to keep a constant watch on the surroundings of water bodies, in bird markets, zoos, poultry farms, etc., so that the information about the bird getting sick is prioritized. The laboratories for bird flu testing will be able to detect quickly if samples are sent in time and the local administration will be able to take quick action. The more co-ordination between the forest department, health department and the animal husbandry department, the faster we will be able to control the bird flu. We also have to see that rumours about bird flu are not spread. I am confident that our united efforts will take the country out of every challenge.

I am once again very grateful to all of you and we will meet again to review after the 60 percent work is over. We will discuss in detail then and will formulate our strategies after taking cognizance of the new vaccines.

Many many thanks to all of you!


DISCLAIMER: This is the approximate translation of PM’s speech. Original speech was delivered in Hindi.



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