India

PM Modi seeks to dispel fears over Covid vaccine

In order to boost confidence among the people on their inoculation experience, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday interacted with COVID-19 vaccine beneficiaries and vaccinators in Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi, his Lok Sabha constituency, during which he said India is absolutely self-reliant in regard to the vaccines.

Addressing the beneficiaries and those administrating the shots through video conference, PM Modi also expressed pride over the development of two vaccines in the country to tackle coronavirus.

“The biggest vaccination program in the world is going on in our country. Today, the nation has the willpower to manufacture its own vaccine – not one but two Made in India vaccines. Vaccines are reaching every corner of the country. India is absolutely self-reliant in this regard,” the Prime Minister Said.

Modi sought to dispel fears and misconceptions over the efficacy and safety of Covid vaccines in an interaction with health workers in Varanasi, his Lok Sabha constituency.

“When doctors and health workers give a clean chit to the vaccine, it sends a very strong message among people about the efficacy of the shots,” he said through video conference.

Earlier in the day, addressing the graduating students of the Tezpur University, PM Modi had said, “Our COVID-19 management showed where there is resolve and resilience, resources come naturally. In this COVID era, the AtmaNirbhar Bharat programme has become a nomenclature in our dictionary but we need to understand what is this change brought by the initiative, said Modi. The biggest change is of perspective – the attitude of the entire nation has changed, said Modi.

Sources in the PMO indicated that as another step towards creating vaccine confidence, the Prime Minister and other elected representatives will likely take the vaccine in the second phase, when the priority group above the age of 50 will be inoculated.

“The PM also is likely to take the vaccine. In the first phase, it was meant for health workers and frontline workers. Now, it will not be out of turn for political leaders,” said a source.

The Prime Minister kicked off the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination programme via video conferencing on January 16, as he congratulated India and the country’s scientists and researchers for developing two vaccines in such a short span of time. He said the country had been waiting impatiently for this day, adding that this is for the first time in history that a vaccination exercise has been launched on such a massive scale.

It has been six days since India began vaccination against the novel coronavirus disease. Nearly 10.5 lakh people have been given one of the two vaccines approved by the regulator. But several people, including some doctors and other healthcare workers, continue to be hesitant. This has led to concerns over ‘vaccine hesitancy’.

In phase one, which is underway, three crore frontline workers in India will be administered the Covid-19 vaccine. There are 3,006 session sites across the country, where 100 beneficiaries each will be given either of India’s two indigenous vaccines, Covaxin or Covishield. Every beneficiary will need to receive two doses of the same vaccine, 28 days apart.

In a span of 24 hours, 2,37,050 people were vaccinated across 4,049 sessions. “A total of 18,167 sessions have been conducted so far. On the testing front too, India continues to register growing numbers, the Health Ministry said.

Underlining that the expansion in testing infrastructure has given a boost in India’s fight against the global pandemic, the ministry said the cumulative testing has crossed 19 crore. “Comprehensive and widespread testing on a sustained basis has resulted in bringing down the positivity rate. The cumulative Positivity Rate stands at 5.59 per cent as of today,” the ministry said.

Steadily following the trend set over the past weeks, India’s active caseload has fallen to 1.78 per cent of the total cases. The total number of active caseload presently stands at 1,88,688. A total of 18,002 new recoveries were registered in a span of 24 hours. This has led to a net decline of 3,620 cases from the total COVID-19 active caseload in a day.

The total recovered cases have surged to 10,283,708 pushing the growing gap between the recovered and the active cases to 1,00,95,020 (54.5 times).

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