Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday informed the opposition leaders that a COVID-19 vaccine is expected to be ready in the next few weeks, and as soon as scientists give a green signal, vaccination will start in India.
"Experts believe that the COVID vaccine will be ready in the next few weeks. As soon as scientists give a green signal, vaccination will start in India. Healthcare, frontline workers, and the elderly people suffering from serious diseases will be given priority in vaccination," he stated during an all-party meeting via videoconferencing, during which he invited suggestions from the opposition leaders regarding the COVID-19 vaccination.
Prime Minister Modi said that the recommendations would be "considered seriously".
"I appeal to the leaders of all the political parties to send suggestions in writing. I assure you that they will be considered seriously," said the Prime Minister.
During the meeting, he said Indian scientists are very confident of succeeding in their endeavour of making the COVID vaccine, and the world is keeping a watch on the cheapest and safe vaccine.
According to the Prime Minister, the Centre is in talks with all the state governments over the price of the vaccine, and that the decision regarding the pricing will be taken keeping public health as the topmost priority.
"Teams of central and state governments are working together for the vaccine distribution.
India has the expertise and capacity in vaccine distribution and fares better compared to other nations," said PM Modi.
He added that India has a very big and experienced network in the field of vaccination, and the government intends to fully exploit that for the COVID vaccination.
Floor leaders of various parties in Parliament were invited by the government at the virtual meeting today.
Ahead of the meeting, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi hoped that the Prime Minister will clarify by when "every" Indian will get free COVID vaccines.
"In today's all-party meeting, we hope the PM clarifies by when will every Indian get free Covid vaccine," Gandhi tweeted.
Last Saturday, Prime Minister Modi visited Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad, Bharat Biotech facility in Hyderabad and Serum Institute of India in Pune to review development and manufacturing process of the COVID-19 vaccines.