New Delhi: Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said over 2 crore COVID-19 vaccine shots have been administered so far and the vaccination rate has been increased to 15 lakhs per day. He was speaking at the at the Delhi Medical Association’s (DMA’s) 62nd Annual Delhi State Medical Conference (MEDICON 2021).
The minister exhorted people to trust the science behind vaccines and ensure that their near and dear ones get vaccinated on time. He further added that India supplied 5.51 crore COVID-19 vaccines to 62 different countries and India is in the ‘endgame of the novel coronavirus pandemic’.
“Unlike most other countries, we have a steady supply of COVID-19 vaccines that are safe with proven immunogenicity and efficacy. Based on the initial results, these Made in India vaccines have shown some of the lowest adverse events following immunization (AEFI) anywhere in the world,” he said.
Explaining how essential it was to become safe and make the world a safer place, he said, “India cannot be safe from coronavirus and COVID-19 if rest of the world continues to be unsafe, which is why it is essential to curb COVID-19 vaccine nationalism.”
“If poor and underdeveloped countries continue to harbour the novel coronavirus, we shall not be able to ensure safety for all. A fair and equitable distribution of the vaccine is the biggest need of the hour,” he said.
It may be noted that India has been the biggest contributor of vaccines to neighbouring countries such as Maldives, Nepal and other SAARC nations.
Looking at the possibility of eradication of COVID-19 in India, Mr Vardhan said, “We are in the end game of the COVID-19 pandemic in India, and to succeed at this stage, we need to follow 3 steps: Keep politics out of the COVID-19 vaccination drive, trust the science behind COVID-19 vaccines, and ensure our near and dear ones get vaccinated on time.”
The government has already involved private players in COVID-19 vaccination, and if hospitals want, they can conduct vaccination 24×7, the minister said.
“My request to everyone is that just like people embraced ”Jan Andolan for COVID-19 appropriate behaviour,” they should embrace Jan Andolan for COVID-19 vaccination and get all COVID-19 vaccine shots whenever they are eligible,” he said.