NEW DELHI: India is set to reach yet another milestone next week of administering over 100-crore vaccine doses even as the government plans to involve NGOs and the private sector to mark the achievement and end vaccine hesitancy through spreading awareness.
Health minister Mansukh Mandaviya
on Wednesday said the country will produce over 28 crore doses in October as it continues to ramp up supplies.
In an interaction with reporters, the minister said nearly 73% of the adult population has received a single dose of the jabs and around 29% both doses. Of the 28 crore doses to be available this month, up from more than 22 crore in September, nearly 22 crore will be Covishield
and six crore Covaxin. Also, nearly 60 lakh DNA jabs will be produced, he said.
Reaching the 100 crore vaccination mark is cause for celebration. But it’s still a long road before most of the country is double vaccinated. One of the hurdles to this end is vaccine hesitancy, which can hurt the efforts to control Covid-19. A more vigorous campaign, both in the media and on the ground, is needed to win the war against the outbreak.
With around 97 crore vaccine doses administered so far, the numbers are expected to reach the 100-crore milestone next week, likely on October 19 or 20, he said. “No other country has matched the speed and scale with which India is carrying out the vaccination drive. Besides, the 100 crore vaccine doses feat will be celebrated across the country to inspire the remaining people to come forward for vaccination,” an official said. Official sources said as of now, the health ministry
has no plans to push booster doses as expert opinion on the matter is yet to be sought. They also expressed satisfaction at the overall vaccination programme, saying hardly any state is now complaining about lack of vaccines. “All states have vaccinated over 60% of their population,” an official said.
Asked about the status of Covaxin’s acceptance in other countries, an official said the WHO nod for it is expected soon and that over 12 countries have already recognised it.
On the political blame-game between the Delhi BJP
and AAP government in the capital over curbs on Chhath Puja
due to the pandemic, the official said all states have SOPs in place regarding festivities and no politics should be done over this.
The Delhi government has written a letter to Mandaviya after the local BJP unit targeted the Arvind Kejriwal-led dispensation over it. “There should not be any controversy over festivals. There are SOPs … even states have their own too. Its compliance should be ensured,” he said.
Asked whether the Union government is considering resumption of vaccine exports, official sources said it will be looked at only after the domestic requirement is met. About vaccination of those between 2-18 years, they said DCGI
is still reviewing it before taking the final call.