Prime Minister Narendra Modi today chaired a high-level meeting to review the preparations being undertaken for vaccination against novel coronavirus, as and when a vaccine is available.
The current status of Indian and global vaccine development efforts was also reviewed at the meeting. PM Modi highlighted India’s responsibility and commitment to the global community to play an enabling role in global vaccination efforts against Covid-19.
During the meeting, Modi also listed four guiding principles that will form the foundation of this national effort: first, that vulnerable groups should be identified and prioritized for early vaccination, for example doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, non-medical frontline corona warriors, and vulnerable people among the general population; second, that vaccination of “anyone, anywhere" should take place, third, that vaccination must be affordable and universal, and fourth, that the entire process from production to vaccination should be monitored and supported in real time with the use of technology, according to an official release.
Modi directed officials to evaluate various technology tools to ensure efficient and timely vaccination in due course of time. He also ordered detailed planning for such large scale vaccination should be undertaken immediately, the statement added.
The high-level meeting comes just hours before PM Modi's nationwide address, which is scheduled for 4 pm today.
This would be Modi's sixth address to the nation since the outbreak of the pandemic.
Modi's address comes in the backdrop of India banning 59 apps from China including TikTok, UC Browser etc citing privacy and security concerns amid worsening relations between the two neighbouring countries.
Indian and Chinese armies have been on a six-week standoff in several areas of eastern Ladakh. The ties between the two countries came under severe strain after Chinese military killed 20 Indian Army personnel and injured many in a violent clash in Galwan Valley on 15 and 16 June.
The prime minister may also discuss the status of Covid-19 vaccines in the country.
Modi had last addressed the nation on May 12 when he had announced a ₹20-lakh-crore financial package to boost the economy recovering from coronavirus-induced lockdown.
In other news, Bharat Biotech India Ltd’s covid-19 vaccine ‘Covaxin’ has become the first indigenous vaccine developed in the country to receive the Drug Controller General of India’s approval to enter human trials.
The DGCI has approved the company’s application to conduct a phase I and II clinical trial of its vaccine candidate ‘Covaxin’, which it developed in in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research’s National Institute of Virology (NIV), the company said in a release on Monday.