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Covid vaccine may be ready in few weeks, waiting for experts’ nod: PM Modi at all-party meeting

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that India’s Covid vaccine is highly effective. Speaking at an all-party meeting with leaders of various political outfits and top union ministers to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic situation in the country, the PM said that homemade vaccines have shown promising results.

“Indian scientists are very sure of success in developing COVID-19 vaccine, their confidence very high,” he said. “Experts believe wait for COVID-19 vaccine will not be long, it may be ready in a few weeks,” the PM added.

 

“India will start COVID-19 vaccination programme after experts give nod,” PM Modi said. He said that public health will be top priority as far as COVID-19 vaccine pricing is concerned. “States will be fully involved.”

The Prime Minister also asked the opposition leaders to spread awareness. “Rumours spread at times, they are against public and national interests. Our responsibility to spread awareness,” he said. 

He also asked representatives of various parties to send their suggestions in writing too on vaccine distribution.

About 12 leaders from prominent political parties having five or more than five MPs, attended the meeting, according to a PTI report. Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad spoke on behalf of the Congress in the meeting. Sudip Bandyopadhyay from the TMC, Sharad Pawar of the NCP, Nama Nageswara Rao from the TRS and Vinayak Raut from the Shiv Sena among others also spoke during the meeting.

This was the second all-party meeting called by the government to discuss the COVID-19 situation since the outbreak of the pandemic.

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan were also present in the meeting. Besides them, Parliamentary Affairs Ministers 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, were also part of it.

The meeting began with a presentation by the Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan. The presentation explained India’s fight against the pandemic so far. The government said that vaccine will be first given to about one crore health workers from both the public and private sectors. Thereafter, it will be given to about two crore frontline workers such as police and armed forces personnel, and municipal workers, among others.

The meeting took place days after PM Modi’s visit to pharmaceutical companies in Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Pune to review coronavirus vaccine development work there.