‘Every vaccine does not require universal immunisation' : Harsh Vardhan on Covid-19 vaccine in Lok Sabha

Published on Mar 19, 2021 12:45 PM IST

Union health minister Harsh Vardhan on Friday said it is not necessary, scientifically, to give each and every person in the country the vaccine.

The prioritisation process for Covid-19 vaccine is a dynamic process(PTI)
The prioritisation process for Covid-19 vaccine is a dynamic process(PTI)
By | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh

Allaying all doubts and fears regarding the Covid-19 vaccines, Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan during the Question Hour in the Lok Sabha on Friday said there should be no misconception regarding the vaccines.

Replying to a question posed by NCP MP Supriya Sule on whether the government is aiming at universal immunisation of Covid-19 vaccine as it is stepping up the ongoing vaccination drive, the health ministers said, "Every vaccine doesn’t require universal immunisation and all these priority groups whom we are vaccinating today like healthcare staff first and then senior citizens and people aged between 45 and 59 years, it will be extended in the coming days – all these are based on expert opinions. Not only Indian experts, but we have also consulted WHO guidelines regarding priority groups."

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“It is not necessary, scientifically, to give each and every person in the country the vaccine. Not each and every person in the world will be vaccinated. The prioritisation process is a dynamic process. The behaviour of the virus is also dynamic. All things are based on scientific facts, scrutiny and vision of the overall scientific and health community, ” the minister said.

“There is a well-defined group of experts called National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration. What you are seeing today is the hard work of the people in the ministry and this group, which was set up by the Prime Minister in August. Since then, they have been working closely with all scientific developments related to this,” the minister said.

Under India’s present universal immunization programme, free vaccines are provided against 12 vaccine-preventable diseases, including Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Polio, Measles, Rubella, severe form of Childhood Tuberculosis, Hepatitis B and Meningitis, etc.

Answering another question from Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu over the efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccines, the minister said that vaccines are the way to get rid of vaccine-preventable diseases. There are detailed pre-clinical, clinical trials, which get thoroughly studied by the experts before a vaccine gets the nod. There should be no fear regarding Covid-19 vaccines, the ministers said.

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