‘Will vaccinate all by end of year’: Javadekar hits back at Congress
Union minister Prakash Javadekar said India will vaccinate most of its population by December, adding that the country’s vaccine drive will move up a gear from August.
The minister was responding to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi who termed the country’s vaccine drive “nautanki” on Friday, and attributed the second wave of the Covid-19 to this.
“The health ministry last week made it clear that within December the nation will produce 216 crore (2.16 billion) doses of Covid-19 vaccines which means that at least 108 crore (1.08 billion) people will be able to get their shots. So, Rahul Gandhi should understand that India will vaccinate all by December 2021” Javadekar said .
Till Friday evening, India has vaccinated 44 million people fully and administered only one dose to 120 million people. It is currently vaccinating on average 2.2 million people a day.
The health ministry’s projections of 2.16 billion doses being available is for the period between August and December and assumes significant capacity enhancements, and the approval of some vaccines that are still in clinical trials. The Ken reported that the actual number available would be around 1.09 billion doses and Reuters has said that the overall number could be an overstatement with Serum Institute of India, which makes Covishield, likely to miss the 750 million number mentioned by the health ministry by around 27% (or 200 million). Even assuming that India would vaccinate its entire 18-year plus population (940 million) by the end of the year, it will require the country to vaccinate a little in excess of 7.5 million people every day.
The minister claimed that both supply and the pace of vaccinations would shortly increase
“Covisheild, Covaxin, Zydus Cadila, Novavax, Genova and Sputnik, all these vaccines will soon be produced in India now… And with projected imports… India will have a total of 216 crore doses,” he said. To be sure, of these only Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik have been approved for emergency use.
Attacking Gandhi, Javadekar said: “The whole nation is condemning the words of Rahul Gandhi today. He used the words, “PM’s Nautanki exactly the way they are prescribed in their tool kit.”