- India started its COVID-19 vaccination drive on January 16
- Dr Guleria received the jab on January 16, says he did not face any problem
- Vaccine is safe so hesitancy should be avoided: Dr Guleria
New Delhi: Coronavirus vaccines might be available in the open market by end of the year only when prime targeted people are covered and there is an equivalence of supply and demand, said Dr Randeep Guleria, Director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) after receiving the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday (February 17). The chief of the country’s premier medical institute Dr Guleria was administered with the first jab of the COVID-19 vaccine on January 16, a day the biggest vaccination drive was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, against coronavirus disease.
“Vaccine will be available in the open market only when prime targets — people to be vaccinated — are covered. And there has to be equivalence in supply and demand. Hopefully, there would be such a situation by year-end or before that. Then, there may be a likelihood of vaccine to come to the open market,” Dr Guleria told ANI. Sharing his experience of his past 28 days (a time duration for the second dose), Dr. Guleria said,
Today I took the second dose of Covaxin vaccine and I haven’t found any side effect from the first dose. I didn’t face any difficulty. I would urge people not to fear the vaccine and it is totally safe. People should come out and take the vaccine. This is essential if we want to come out of the pandemic.
He highlighted that pandemic is still not over and India is in a good position but people should not have vaccine hesitancy and get inoculated.
“Right now our situation is fine and many might believe that in India pandemic case is less but I would say this is our window of opportunity to get the vaccine as the pandemic is still not over and the situation can change anytime. As we have seen in Brazil, Europe, South Africa and the United Kingdom lockdown has been imposed again as the case spiked. We should maintain the present situation in the country as it is necessary,” the AIIMS director added.
Talking about vaccine hesitancy among the people, Dr Guleria said many have been vaccinated and data also reflects that these vaccines are safe.
Vaccine hesitancy is understandable as people could have some doubts whether the vaccine is safe or not but so many days have passed and many have got the jab. There are data, which suggest that vaccine is safe so hesitancy should be avoided, he added.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.