New Delhi: Dr. VK Paul, Member (Health) of NITI Aayog has informed that after the implementation of the revised guidelines for Covid vaccination, about 81 lakh doses of vaccine were administered on the very first day itself.
Indication of India’s ability to vaccinate on a large scale
Talking to Doordarshan, Dr. Paul said that the data on the first day of vaccination proves that India has the capacity to carry out large-scale immunization continuously for many days and weeks. “All this was possible due to the coordination and planning between the central government and the state governments, who are carrying out this work as a campaign,” he said.
“Can we control the third wave or not”
Dr Paul reminded that the third wave can be stopped if proper treatment is done to avoid Kovid and at the same time more and more people are vaccinated. He said, “If we behave properly in view of Kovid and get ourselves vaccinated, then why the third wave will come? There are many countries where there is no second wave. If we follow covid proper behaviour, this time too shall pass.”
Faster Vaccination Key to Return to Normal Days
The NITI Aayog member underscored the importance of rapid vaccination, so that India can open up its economy and resume normal activities. He said, “We need to be able to do our daily work, live our social life, open schools, start businesses, we can take care of our economy, so we can do all this only when we are fast. Will vaccinate at speed.”
“Vaccine is saving lives, it’s time to get vaccinated”
Dr. Paul said that it is a huge mistake to consider the vaccine unsafe. He said, “Like our vaccine, all vaccines in the world have been allowed for emergency use. People from different sections of the society have got vaccinated. The second wave is now looming and this is the right time to get the vaccine.
Dr. Paul also explained how the decision to vaccinate healthcare workers on a priority basis protected them during the second wave. He said, “Very few health workers got the infection, otherwise our hospitals themselves would have come to a standstill during the second wave. So please everyone rest assured, because the vaccine protects us from infection.”
India has the capacity to administer 1.25 crore vaccines daily
Dr. NK Arora, President, National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NTAGI) also attended the interview. He said that the achievement of vaccination achieved today is a big success in itself. He said, “Our target is to vaccinate at least one crore people every day. Our capacity is such that we can administer 1.25 crore doses of Kovid-19 vaccine every day. Dr. Arora said that this goal can be achieved with good cooperation from the private sector. This achievement was achieved on the same day when the revised guidelines came into force. Referring to India’s success in the past, Dr. Arora said: “This is not happening for the first time. Within a week, we had given polio vaccine to about 17 crore children. So, when India decided that something needs to be done now, we have achieved it.” India’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign is setting a great example of how the public and private sectors work together to find better solutions to the country’s problems.
Public participation and awareness necessary to remove hesitation towards vaccine
The President of NTAGI emphasized that public participation and awareness is very important to dispel rumors and misconceptions about vaccination. He said, “Public participation and public awareness are very important to eradicate the fear of vaccination. In the end it is up to the people to come forward and get the vaccines done.” He mentioned about the preparedness to spread awareness about vaccination and said that ASHA workers and frontline personnel have started work at the field level, so that hesitation and doubts about the vaccine can be removed.
“There will be no problem of vaccine supply”
The President of NTAGI assured that there will be no problem regarding the availability of the vaccine. “Next month we will have about 20-22 crore doses,” he said. Dr. Arora also assured that the health infrastructure has been prepared in such a way that the vaccination campaign can reach every nook and corner of the country including hilly, tribal and sparsely populated areas.
No need to change the current dose interval of CoviShield vaccine
Responding to a question on the interval between doses of Covishield vaccine, Dr. Arora said that there is no need to change this interval at this time. “We are collecting the data through the National Vaccine Tracking System,” he said. Along with this, real-time evaluation of vaccine effectiveness, dosage interval, region-wise effect, variants are also being done. At this time no need is felt to change the dosage intervals of Covishield. The core principle is that our people get the most out of each dose of the vaccine. We have found that the current dosages are proving to be beneficial.” He said that nothing is like a streak of stone