Omicron cases in India: Share plan on booster Covid vaccine dose, opposition asks govt

Omicron cases in India: Opposition members flagged views on booster doses of vaccines for the elderly and those with co-morbidities and demanded that the govt spell out its policy on the issue.
Amid the Omicron threat, Opposition parties on Thursday sought to know from the Centre about the roadmap for vaccination and clarity on booster dose, even as the government hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s steps to combat the pandemic. (ANI)
Amid the Omicron threat, Opposition parties on Thursday sought to know from the Centre about the roadmap for vaccination and clarity on booster dose, even as the government hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s steps to combat the pandemic. (ANI)
Published on Dec 03, 2021 12:31 AM IST
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By, New Delhi

In view of the threat from a new Covid-19 variant, Omicron, opposition parties on Thursday sought to know from the Centre about the roadmap for vaccination and clarity on booster dose, even as the government hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s steps to combat the pandemic.

In a discussion in the Lok Sabha on the Covid pandemic, opposition members flagged views on booster doses of vaccines for the elderly and those with co-morbidities and demanded that the government spell out its policy on the issue.

Also Read | Serum Institute seeks DCGI nod for Covishield booster shot amid Omicron scare

“What is the situation on booster doses, we want to know. The vaccination coverage should be scaled up further. If we could vaccinate 2.5 crore people on a single day on one occasion, why hasn’t it picked up to that level after that. The effort has to be sincere, and we are there to support the government,” Gaurav Gogoi, deputy leader of Congress in Lok Sabha, said.

Speaking on similar lines, Trinamool Congress (TMC) member Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar said: “Why should our not elderly be given the booster dose?”

Telangana Desam Party’s Jayadev Galla stressed on the need to take quick decisions on booster doses for the full-vaccinated and to vaccinate those below 18 years of age.

Referring to Covid-19 vaccine exports, Galla said he is given to understand that about 25 million vaccines have been exported to various countries.

Also Read | Policy on booster, additional Covid-19 vaccine doses in 2 weeks: Dr NK Arora

“So, I request the health minister to immediately stop the vaccine exports and let the days of giving 2.5 crore vaccines in a single day come back, and continue to ramp up administering the vaccine,” he said.

YSR Congress member Kumari Godetti Madhavi suggested utilising the unused stock of five to 10 million vaccine doses with the private sector for administering the booster doses to healthcare and frontline workers.

Leader of Congress in the Lower House, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, asked the government to provide a roadmap for vaccinating all eligible adults against Covid-19 by December-end. In May, Union minister Prakash Javadekar had said that vaccination against Covid-19 in India will be completed by the end of the year.

“What are you (the government) doing to vaccinate all eligible adults by December? Give the House a roadmap for vaccinating all eligible adults by December,” he said.

Chowdhury also said that the new Omicron variant was proving to be a threat as it is the “most dangerous of all variants”.

CPM member AM Ariff alleged that no one knows how much money was collected under the PM CARES Fund. He said the government issued Covid-19 vaccination certificates to all with the “smiling photograph of our prime minister”.

“But actually we should have the picture of our honorable Supreme Court, without the intervention of which this government would have allowed pharma companies to loot state governments and people below 45 years by charging exorbitantly high and differential price for vaccines,” Ariff said.

Shiv Sena leader Vinayak Raut also hit out at the Centre over its Covid management, and lamented that Parliament was discussing the issue 21 months after the outbreak of the disease and at a time when cases were on the decline. Referring to the Omicron variant of the virus, he demanded close coordination among state governments and the Centre.

Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party’s Jagdambika Pal said both Opposition and the Treasury benches sharing views on Covid was a step that reflected “strengthening of democracy”. He hailed the prime minister’s resolve to build an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ following the Covid outbreak.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2022