India will ‘be in position’ to vaccinate all adults against coronavirus by 2021-end, says Dr Harsh Vardhan

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Updated: May 21, 2021 10:27 PM

The Union Health Minister emphasised the need to step up vaccination and reiterated the need to dedicate 70 per cent of vaccines provided by the central government for the second dose.

Harsh Vardhan, Covid, corona vaccineUnion Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan highlighted that daily recoveries have outnumbered the daily new COVID cases for the last 8 days consistently. (Reuters photo)

India will be in a position to vaccinate at least all of its adult population by the end of 2021, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Friday. At a meeting to review the pandemic situation in nine states and union territories, the minister said, “Between August and December 2021, India will have procured 216 crore vaccine doses, while by July this year, 51 crore doses will be procured.” Vardhan touched upon the speculation that the virus might mutate in future and endanger children, and said that the health facilities are being upgraded to deal with any such exigency, according to a health ministry statement.

Vardhan also cautioned against the emerging trend in the country. He highlighted that now the smaller states are showing an upward trend and there is a dire need to be extremely cautious, the statement said. He asked the states to follow the basic principles of COVID-19-appropriate behaviour along with testing, tracking, tracing, treating and now vaccinating to fight against the pandemic.

He emphasised the need to step up vaccination and reiterated the need to dedicate 70 per cent of vaccines provided by the central government for the second dose. He also requested the states and UTs to be vigilant against wastage of jabs, the statement said. The minister who reviewed public health response to COVID-19 and progress of vaccination in Chhattisgarh, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Puducherry, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Ladakh, and Lakshadweep informed that all the states and UTs have been asked to notify black fungus (Mucormycosis) as an epidemic and ensure that all cases are duly reported.

He assured that all the necessary information and guidelines regarding diabetes control and restricted use of steroids have been provided to states, the statement stated. He highlighted that daily recoveries have outnumbered the daily new COVID cases for the last 8 days consistently, the statement. Underscoring the critical importance of vaccination drive, the minister highlighted that India has administered a total of 19,18,89,503 vaccine doses to its citizens.

He stated that the government is in the process of supporting the manufacturer of vaccines for ramping up vaccine availability in the country. He expressed hope that in the subsequent months, there will be an exponential rise in production of vaccines in the country, the statement said. “Between August and December 2021, India will have procured 216 crore vaccine doses, while by July this year, 51 crore doses will be procured,” he was quoted as saying in the statement. The Union Health Minister also said that by the end of the year, the country will be in a position to vaccinate at least all of its adult population, the statement said.

Vardhan presented a snapshot on the COVID situation in all the states and UTs. In Chhattisgarh, intense transmission has been observed since March 2021. The state was observing a near positivity rate of 30 per cent at the start of May. In Himachal Pradesh, there are more than 35,000 active cases, while the fatality rate (1.44 per cent) is much higher than national average, the statement said. Vardhan underlined the issues like complacency, marriages, super spreader events etc., for the steep rise in cases in Himachal Pradesh, the statement stated.

He informed that Goa is witnessing a rising trend with 22,000 active cases. Daman and Diu has 366 active cases and a declining trend is being observed. Similarly Ladakh is also showing a declining trend with 1,500 active cases at present, the statement said.

 

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