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PM Modi's Address Key Highlights | COVID-19 vaccination to continue to be free in govt facilities; lockdown to be last resort

PM Modi, in his address, said the country's pharmaceutical sector has taken serious steps to increase the production of vaccines as well as medicines.

April 20, 2021 / 09:45 PM IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Image: Twitter/@@BJP4India)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Image: Twitter/@@BJP4India)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 20 addressed the nation on the COVID-19 situation as India breached the 15.3 million-mark of COVID-19 cases with 259,170 fresh cases and 1,761 fatalities recorded in the last 24 hours.

Here are the key highlights from PM's address:

The prime minister began his address by expressing grief for those who lost close ones due to the pandemic. He then lauded all the frontline workers from doctors, nursing staff, paramedics and sanitation workers to policemen for working selflessly during the first wave, and now the second wave.

Pharma industry's role: PM Modi said the country's pharma sector has taken serious steps to increase the production of vaccines as well as medicines and claimed that more medicines are being produced now than in January and February. Eariler in the day, he had met vaccine manufacturers from across the country, and urged them to continuously scale up the production capacity of COVID-19 vaccines to vaccinate more people in the shortest possible time.

Medical oxygen shortage: Speaking about the ongoing medical oxygen crisis in the country, Modi said, "We are promptly and sensitively working on the oxygen crisis. We are trying to ensure that every patient gets oxygen."

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Free vaccination: PM Modi said India has vaccinated people at the fastest pace in the world and reassured the citizens that vaccination will continue to be available for free in all government facilities.

Appeal to youngsters: While reminding the nation to maintain the discipline and patience to fight against the coronavirus pandemic, the PM reiterated his 'Dawai bhi Kadhai bhi' mantra. He also urged young people to participate in the fight by suggesting them to form small committees to ensure adherance to COVID protocols. "Then we will not need restrictions to curb COVID-19, let alone lockdown," he said.

Migrant workers: The prime minister also appealed to the state governments to ensure the well-being of the migrants. He added that the Centre will take all steps to ensure that migrants are vaccinated in the states they reside in.

Lockdown to be last resort: He said the lockdown should be the last resort for states and the focus should be on micro-containment instead to ensure that health and economy are both taken care of.

On April 19, the PM Modi government expanded its vaccination strategy, opening up inoculation for all above the age of 18 years starting May 1.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Apr 20, 2021 08:59 pm

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