PM Narendra Modi asks states to draw up plans for Covid-19 vaccine distribution

Though vaccine will come, states must emphasise on bringing down positivity rate to 1%, contain the spread of the virus, and ensure no surge in cases
PM Narendra Modi asks states to draw up plans for Covid-19 vaccine distribution

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has requested states to draw up plans for distribution of Covid-19 vaccine, giving a strong indication that the vaccine will be available in the country soon.

In a virtual meeting with Chief Ministers of eight states, Modi said that though states must be equipped to distribute the vaccine to citizens, curbing the virus spread must be given top priority. The PM told states to emphasise on bringing the positivity rate down to 1% and that they must ensure there are no more surges in cases.

The Prime Minister informed states that the vaccines would be available after they pass the necessary trials and tests. However, he added that there is no knowledge as to which vaccine will pass the necessary tests and by what time will they be available but asked states in the meantime, to draw up the necessary plans and be prepared to distribute the vaccine once available.

However, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has claimed that there are signs that a vaccine to fight Covid-19 is likely to be out within four to six weeks. While conversing with reporters in Mysuru, Yediyurappa said that Modi has asked states must make provisions to distribute the vaccine to all citizens once it reaches them.

In the last few months, certain states have witnessed a huge spike in Covid-19 cases. The Prime Minister chaired a virtual meeting with Chief Ministers of Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and West Bengal. Although the recovery rate is high, the number of cases is still rising. The CMs informed the Prime Minister that they are equipped and are ready to work with the Centre to arrange the distribution of the vaccine. They also informed Modi about the measures taken by them so far to contain the virus.

The Prime Minister mentioned that cost of the vaccine has not been finalised yet. “There has been no decision yet as to which vaccine will cost how much. Although two India-based vaccines are in the lead, we are also collaborating with global firms,” said Modi. He added that the government is keeping a close eye on the vaccine developments

Currently, there are multiple vaccines in competition. Russian vaccine Sputnik V is claimed to be 95% effective. US-based Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have claimed to be above 90% effective. However, Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is said to be on average 70% effective but have claimed that it can go up to 90% effective without any side effects.

PM Narendra Modi asks states to draw up plans for Covid-19 vaccine distribution
Covid-19 vaccine is 90% effective, says Pfizer after release of preliminary data

Meanwhile, a news agency has reported that approximately one crore frontline medical workers will be administered the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. Reportedly, official sources claim that 92% of government officials and 55% of private hospitals from all states and Union Territories have submitted data on medical workers and states have been asked to speed up the process of providing the data.

The NationWide