Vaccination will be last nail in coffin of Covid-19: Harsh Vardhan
Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Thursday said the vaccination will be the last nail in the coffin of Covid-19, adding that it is unfortunate that some people are spreading misinformation about the vaccination for political reasons.
"This has developed vaccine hesitancy in a small group of people.Government does not want people who are hesitant to take vaccine to suffer any disadvantage. Everyone should get equal protection just like our doctors," Vardhan said.
He further said that the message is clear that vaccine is completely safe and effective.
"The said adverse events or side effects surfacing are common and it can be seen after any vaccination," Vardhan added.
India is currently administering vaccines to 30 million healthcare and frontline workers.
The second phase of the programme will involve 270 million people over 50 and those with compromised immunity or underlying medical conditions that make them vulnerable to Covid-19.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to be in this batch, said a highly placed official in the vaccination drive, adding that the exact dates hadn’t been determined.
India is currently administering the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, made by Serum Institute of India (SII) and known locally as Covishield, and the Bharat Biotech-manufactured Covaxin.
Dr Vinod Paul, member (health) of Niti Aayog and who heads the government’s Covid-19 task force, said the second phase was crucial. “Phase 2 is our real focus of effort after healthcare and frontline workers. These are people who are above 50 and all political workers would feature in this section,” said Dr Paul.
Currently, about 10 million healthcare workers are being administered the vaccine. Other frontline workers will perhaps start getting the vaccine in about a week’s time, according to Dr Paul.