NEW DELHI: As India gears up to launch the world's largest immunisation drive, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Saturday said that one crore Healthcare workers and two crore frontline workers would be given free vaccine in the first phase of the inoculation drive.
He also requested the people to not pay heed to the rumours against the much-awaited vaccine. "I want to appeal to people to not believe in any rumors. Our prime criteria in the vaccine trial is the safety and efficacy and nothing will be compromised," Vardhan told the reporters after reviewing the dry run at a government hospital here. The Union Minister reminded that "different kinds of rumours were also spread during polio immunisation, but people took the vaccine and now India is polio-free".
Meanwhile, Vardhan said in a tweet, "In the first phase of vaccination, free vaccine will be provided across the nation to most prioritised beneficiaries that include one crore healthcare and 2 crore frontline workers."
He, however, added, that the details of how the remaining 27 crore priority beneficiaries will be vaccinated till July is getting finalised.
The Central government plans to vaccinate nearly 30 crore persons in the first phase of the immunisation drive. The vaccine will be administered to one crore Healthcare workers, along with 2 crore frontline and essential workers, and 27 crore elderly, mostly above the age of 50 with comorbidities.
The comment is significant, given the fact that India has recorded the second highest numbers of Corona infections after the United States. (IANS)