Ahead of monsoon session, 3/4th members of Rajya Sabha fully vaccinated
Meanwhile, at least 403 members of the Lok Sabha, nearly three-fourths of its current strength of 540, have also received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine so far, raising hopes that next month’s session will not need to be curtailed
At least 179 Rajya Sabha members have been fully vaccinated ahead of the monsoon session of Parliament, according to data available with the Rajya Sabha secretariat.
Seventy-seven per cent of the Upper House’s 232 members are fully vaccinated--- which the House considers an encouraging sign. According to the official data available till June 18, 39 more members of the House has received their first dose.
Meanwhile, at least 403 members of the Lok Sabha, nearly three-fourths of its current strength of 540, have also received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine so far, raising hopes that next month’s session will not need to be curtailed.
Some members of Parliament (MP) have not been able to take their second jab yet as they were affected by Covid-19, a top functionary said on condition of anonymity. “Another 30 MPs have not sent us any communication. We are trying to contact them to know their vaccination status.”
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected Parliament sessions since March 2020, forcing early closure of last year’s budget and monsoon sessions and this year’s budget session. The 2020 winter session was skipped altogether due to the public health crisis.
The high rate of vaccination among the lawmakers and Parliament staff improves chances of a longer Parliament session and higher productivity. More than 40 bills and five ordinances are pending before Parliament.
So far, over 50 lawmakers have been affected by the Covid-19 and at least three MPs, including minister of state for railways Suresh Angadi, have died of Covid-related complications.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla opened a Covid-19 vaccination centre in the Parliament complex in March to cater to the lawmakers, their family and parliamentary officials. The exclusive centre helped in the quick vaccination of MPs and officials to create a safer health environment ahead of the session. There is a possibility that people can get the infection despite the jab but the symptoms will be much milder.
Top officials also said that RT-PCR tests and social distancing norms will remain in place as parts of India continue to report new cases. “But vaccination would not be mandatory for MPs to attend Parliament. We are encouraging them to take the vaccines and providing them with all facilities,” said a top functionary.
Apart from the Covishield and Covaxin vaccines that are manufactured in the country, India has also procured stocks of Russian Sputnik V which will be produced in India at a later stage.