(Image Credits: AP/ANI/PTI
As India has brought down the curve of the second wave of COVID-19 and various states have started their unlock process, PM Modi on Monday addressed the Nation. Speaking about the second wave of COVID-19, he lauded the made-in-India COVID-19 vaccines and also backed his earlier decision to vaccinate the health workers first. PM Modi also outlined that the need for medical oxygen was never so high until the second wave of COVID-19 started wreaking havoc in India, however, the production of medical oxygen was ramped up 10 times during the second wave.
Outlining the steps taken by the central government, PM Modi said that the government of India left no stone unturned to bring medical equipment, medicines, and other essential medical supplies from around the world. PM Modi also said in the war against coronavirus, the vaccine is like a shield.
Drawing comparisons over India's medical health infrastructure from past 5 to 6 decades, PM Modi said, "Today vaccine producing countries and companies are much lesser as compared to the demands of vaccines. Imagine, if we didn't have an India-made vaccine, what would have happened? If you look at the last 5-6 decades, you will find India would take years and years to get vaccines from abroad. In fact, when other countries would finish vaccination, India wouldn't have begun."
"Be it vaccine of polio, smallpox, hepatitis B for these people of India has waited for decades. In 2014, when the people of India gave us the opportunity to serve, then the vaccine coverage of India was only 60 percent. At this pace of vaccination, it would have taken 40 years to complete. However to overcome this worrisome situation we launched Mission Indradhanush," said PM Modi.
"Under Mission Indradhanush we decided to give vaccines to people who need vaccines on an urgent basis. Then within 5 to 6 years, we increased our vaccination coverage by 60% to over 90%, meaning we increased vaccination speed. To save children from new diseases, we included new vaccines in our efforts, as we were worried about children and the poor," added PM Modi.
PM Modi said that within a span of 1 year India launched 2 made-in India vaccines. "Our country's scientists showcased India is not behind big countries of the world," said PM Modi.
India is currently giving three vaccines - Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII), and Covaxin, developed by Indian firm Bharat Biotech and the government's Indian Council of Medical Research, and Sputnik V, which is developed by Moscow's Gamaleya Institute.
He spoke about how there are currently 7 companies in the country that are producing different COVID vaccines, while three are in the clinical trial stage. Speaking about the fears that some experts have raised over how the potential third wave may impact children, PM said two trials are ongoing for vaccines for children, whereas a nasal vaccine is also being researched.
#LIVE | 7 companies producing different vaccines; 3 more trials are ongoing. Vaccine procurement has also been speeded up; some experts have also raised fears about children, towards this 2 vaccine trials are ongoing & nasal vaccine is being researched: PMhttps://t.co/rGQJsiKgt2 pic.twitter.com/EtVFGE3DyQ— Republic (@republic) June 7, 2021
During his address to the Nation, PM Modi marked the importance of International Yoga Day and said that from June 21 onwards all persons above the age of 18 years will be provided with free COVID-19 vaccines across all districts in the country. The Prime Minister added that the existing policy allowing private hospitals to procure 25% of doses from vaccine makers directly will be continued. However, striking down the differential vaccine prices across private institutions, PM Modi announced that hospitals can only charge a maximum of Rs 150 of service charge per vaccine dose. Monitoring of price capping at private hospitals will be done by the states, he announced.
(Image Credits: AP/ANI/PTI)