New Delhi [India], June 21 (ANI): BJP National President JP Nadda on Monday said that India's vaccination drive is the largest and the fastest in the world, as the centralised free vaccination policy began under which the government will provide free COVID-19 vaccine to all Indian citizens above 18 years of age.
"Today I visited the vaccination centre at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. The vaccination drive is going smoothly here. It is important to note that we are the largest and we are the fastest which means India's ongoing nationwide inoculation drive is the world's largest and fastest vaccination program. We have taken the fastest path for vaccinating our people," Nadda said while speaking to reporters.
He stated that India ranks seventh among the top ten nations which produced their COVID-19 own vaccines and conducted their trials.
"I would like to tell you that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given two indigenous vaccines to the country within a span of nine months. Among the top ten nations which produced their own vaccines and conducted their trials, India comes on the seventh position," said Nadda.
"The BJP workers are deployed at each and every booth who are spreading awareness among people that they should get vaccinated. They are also ensuring that people do not face any problems in vaccination and are also reminding people that they have to come for another dose after receiving the first dose of vaccine," he said.
The BJP national president stated that despite the oppositions' misleading and discouraging statements about the COVID-19 vaccines, people are actively participating in the drives and getting themselves vaccinated.
Nadda further said, "A lot of politics happens on vaccines. Some said the vaccines haven't completed trials, some said we should not be treated like Guinea pigs, some said we are not rats. Many politicians have tried to stop the country's mega vaccination by issuing such statements. And we know that 'atkana, bhatkana, latkana' is the soul work and aim of the opposition, Despite such misleading and discouraging statements by the opposition, the country's entire population of 130 crore is coming forward to get vaccinated."
"I would like to ask those leaders who called themselves Guinea pigs in the past and are now getting vaccinated, what changed within them? Their soul? Their mind? Their heart? What changed?" asked Nadda.
During his visit to the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, the BJP national president was accompanied by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Delhi party chief Adesh Kumar Gupta, party national vice president and spokesperson Baijayant Panda and BJP MP Anil Jain.
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that the central government would take over the nationwide vaccination drive, and the Centre would procure 75 per cent of vaccines and give them to states for free distribution to all citizens above the age of 18.
The Centre will also handle the 25 per cent vaccination that was with states till now under the liberalised plan announced earlier.
In a briefing on Friday, the health ministry had said states would be playing a facilitatory role by aggregating demand and vaccination capabilities of private hospitals in the state and ensure the administrations of vaccinations.
"There will be a systematic flow of vaccines to the private sector as well. I am hopeful that in this way, there will be a lot of energy in the participation of the private sector and vaccination sites will increase," Dr VK Paul, Member, Health of the Niti Aayog said.
From June 21 (International Day of Yoga), the Centre will provide free vaccines to states," PM Modi said.
"Whether it is the poor, the lower middle class, the middle class, or the upper-middle class, under the central government programme, everyone will get free vaccines," the Prime Minister said.
"Private hospitals will continue to buy the remaining 25 per cent and inoculate those willing to pay for their jabs. They can't, however, charge more than Rs 150 as a service charge per dose over the fixed price of the vaccine, the PM had said.
The health minister had stated that the maximum price that can be charged per dose by private vaccine centres for the three vaccines currently available in the country - Rs 780 for Covishield, Rs 1,410 for Covaxin and Rs 1,145 for Sputnik V.
Before the Centre's takeover, it was the responsibility of state governments to procure and administer 50 per cent of the vaccines for citizens between the ages of 18 to 45. The Centre supplied free of cost vaccines to people aged 45 and above. (ANI)