Asserting that India has the capacity to administer 1.25 crore Covid vaccine doses a day, the Centre today made it clear that “there will not be any issue regarding vaccine supply” in the days ahead and that “around 20-22 crore doses will be administered next month”.
Chairperson of National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation in India (NTAGI) Dr N.K. Arora made the announcement considering a record 85 lakh doses administered across the country till Monday midnight under new vaccination policy, in which Centre is procuring 75 per cent of domestically available vaccines for free jabs to the 18-plus population.
Noting that the dosage achieved yesterday as a “big achievement”, a Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHF) statement quoting Arora said: “Our aim is to vaccinate at least one crore people every day. Our capacity is such that we will easily be able to administer 1.25 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccine every day.”
“This target is especially achievable in the wake of good support from private sector, and this was proved on the very first day when revised guidelines came into force.”
The NTAGI Chairperson assured that there won’t be any issue regarding availability of vaccine. “We will have around 20-22 crore doses next month.”
“There will not be any issue regarding vaccine supply.”
Arora also assured that the health infrastructure is well spread out to ensure that the vaccination drive reaches every corner of the country, including the hilly, tribal and very sparsely populated areas.
Speaking how India has been successful in the past as well, Arora said: “This is not unprecedented. In one week, we give polio vaccines to around 17 crore children. So, when India decides to do something, we are able to achieve it.”
India’s Covid-19 vaccination drive is becoming a prime example of how public and private sectors can join together to better address and solve problems faced by the nation, he added.
Responding to a query on dosage interval of Covishield vaccines, the Chairperson said that no need is felt at the moment to change the interval. “We are collecting data under the National Vaccine Tracking System and doing real-time evaluation regarding effectiveness of vaccines, dose interval, region-wise impact, variants; at present, no need is felt for changing dose interval of Covishield.
“The basic principle is that our people should get the maximum benefit from every dose of the vaccine. We find that the current dosages are proving to be beneficial.”
He added that at the same time, nothing is written in stone.
The NTAGI Chairperson emphasised on the significance of people’s participation and public awareness in order to avoid rumours and misconceptions against vaccination.
“Jan Bhagidari and Jan Jagran are very essential to eradicate the fear of vaccination. Ultimately it is in the hands of the public to come forward and get vaccinated”.
Arora also mentioned that preparations have been made for spreading awareness about vaccination and ASHA workers and frontline workers have already started working from grassroots levels to fight vaccine hesitancy.