India will get safe, cheap COVID-19 vaccine soon; public health topmost priority: PM Modi

Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday assured that Indians will soon get a safe, cheap and effective vaccine against the deadly coronavirus. The PM added that public health remains the topmost priority of his government. “COVID-19 vaccine will be first given to healthcare workers then frontline workers,” the PM suggested at the all-party meeting today.

PM Narendra Modi also lauded the Indian scientists and researchers and said that they are very sure of success in developing an effective COVID-19 vaccine and their confidence is very high.

The PM added that the COVID-19 vaccine will be made available only after approval from top scientists. “India will start COVID-19 vaccination programme after experts give nod,” the PM said. He added that there will be ”no compromise on safety.”

“Centre is in talks with State governments over the price of vaccine and decision regarding it will be taken keeping public health as the topmost priority,”’ Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.

The central Govt is working with the state government on the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, the PM said. “Teams of Central & State governments are working together for vaccine distribution. India has the expertise & capacity in vaccine distribution & fare better compared to other nations. We have a very big & experienced network in the field of vaccination. We will fully exploit it,” PM Modi said.

The PM also cautioned that rumours are being spread at times, they are against public and national interests. “Our responsibility is to spread awareness,” the PM stressed at the meeting on coronavirus. He also asked the representatives of various parties to send their suggestions in writing too.

He made these remarks while chairing an all-party meeting with ministerial colleagues and select opposition leaders to discuss the ongoing battle against the coronavirus pandemic and the potential availability of the coronavirus vaccine in the near future and its distribution in India.

The virtual meeting began at 10.45 am, in which Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, apart from Health Ministry Secretary, were also present.

The leaders of opposition parties were taken into confidence on the measures taken by the central government so far to prevent more coronavirus cases in the country etc. Only leaders of those parties which have four to five MPs have been invited to the meeting.

Once the meeting is over, an official statement will be issued on behalf of the Prime Minister`s Office to inform the public about its outcomes. Earlier also, PM Modi had convened all-party meetings on coronavirus and the India-China border tensions in eastern Ladakh.(PTK)