New Delhi, Jan 11 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday emphasised that India is entering into a decisive battle against Covid-19, as the country prepares for the 'Made in India' vaccination drive from January 16.Making the closing remarks at the meeting with the Chief Ministers on Covid vaccine roll-out, the Prime Minister said that public representatives are not in the priority list and the first round of vaccines will be given to the frontline workers. He also said that the state governments will not have to pay for the first round of Covid vaccines as the Centre will bear the cost."We have to continue creating public awareness, but the maximum awareness is required after the second and third round when we complete three crore vaccinations. Public representatives are not in the priority list. Only the frontline and healthcare workers are on the list. The fight against coronavirus is an example of India's federalism," the Prime Minister said."India is entering into a decisive battle against Covid-19 and we should not let our guard down now. We are going to start the vaccination drive from January 16. It is a matter of pride for us that the two approved vaccines for Covid-19 are both made in India," Modi added.The Prime Minister said that both the Indian vaccines are more cost effective than any other vaccine in the world."Apart from the two already approved vaccines, four others are in the pipeline. It will help us plan for the future in a better way. Our experts have taken all precautions to provide the countrymen with effective vaccines," Modi said.He said that these vaccines have been developed keeping in mind the situation of the country.The Prime Minister said that in the first phase, frontline workers, civil servants, people in defence services and other such people will be vaccinated."Health workers in all the states add up to three crore. In the first phase, the cost of vaccination for these three crore people would be borne by the Central government. In the second phase, people above 50 years of age will be vaccinated," Modi said.The Prime Minister also said that necessary preparations have been made for the patients if the Covid vaccine shows any side-effect. "We already have a mechanism under the Universal Immunization Programme for situations such as these. We have strengthened it specifically for Covid vaccination," Modi said.The Prime Minister said India has completed dry-runs in almost every district of the country, which is a massive achievement. "We have to combine the new standard operating procedures (SOPs) with our old experiences," he said.Talking about the bird flu scare in India, Modi said, "Nine states in India have confirmed cases of bird flu. The government has formalised a roadmap, which needs to be followed at the earliest."He emphasised that district magistrates will also have a major role to play in this. "States that do not have any cases must maintain proper caution," he said.
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