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Entire Adult Population In India Will Be Vaccinated Against COVID-19 By December: Dr NK Arora, Head, Expert Panel On Immunisation

Amidst the rising concerns around the third wave of COVID-19, Dr NK Arora, Head, COVID-19 Working Group of National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation tells NDTV that vaccination is the key to stop the transmission and a significant increase in the availability of vaccines is expected in August and September

Entire Adult Population In India Will Be Vaccinated Against COVID-19 By December: Dr NK Arora, Head, Expert Panel On Immunisation

New Delhi: According to experts, vaccination is the best defence against the COVID-19 pandemic and an important tool to stop or at least lower the impact of the third wave of the outbreak that is expected to happen in coming months. NDTV spoke with Dr NK Arora, Head, COVID-19 Working Group of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) to learn about the status of availability of vaccines and the government’s plan for achieving the target of inoculating all adults by December 2021.

Also Read: COVID-19: Pregnant And Thinking Of Getting Vaccinated? Here’s What Government Guidelines Say About Safety, Side-Effects

Talking about the shortfall of vaccine stock in Delhi, Dr Arora said that for the month of July, the government systems are expected to have 12 crore doses with them. He said,

The number of vaccines available for each state would be made known to them and then they can decide on the site and immunization centre. There may be some operational issues because of which the shortage is being observed but we have been promised 12 crore doses for the month of July. By June 30 we had completed the administration of about 33-34 crore of vaccine doses. By end of July, we are expected to administer 45 crore doses.

According to Dr Arora, the third wave will be driven by a variant and because of the low rate of vaccination. He added,

We expect a significant increase in the availability of vaccines in August and September. In June and July also there has been a gradual increase in the availability of vaccines. Initially, we were getting around 5-6 crore doses a month till May, now we are getting 10-12 crore and from next month onwards we will be getting 18 crore vaccines per month and from September, we should be having 30 crore plus doses.

Dr Arora highlighted that currently, the number of vaccination centres in the country at about 34,000 is not sufficient and there is a need for more such centres. The average of administering vaccines at each site per day is about 120 doses. He said,

Our capacity is to have at least 75,000 to 1 lakh immunisation centres across the country in the government sector. In addition to that about 1,500 of the private vaccination centres.

Also Read: India Administers Over 35 Crore Doses In 170 Days, Second Highest Globally, Says Union Health Ministry

Dr Arora further emphasised the importance of vaccination centres and said that immunization centres are set up according to the availability of vaccines and the whole effort is that the human resource is not wasted at these centres. He added,

Now a strategic and smart approach is being taken that whatever available vaccines are there, a similar number of vaccine centres should be there so that the vaccines can be fully saturated.

Explaining how the country would be able to achieve the target of vaccinating all adults by December, Dr Arora said, the calculations show that it is possible. He said,

Let’s say the country is able to administer 45 crore doses by the end of July, we have another 135 crore for the rest of the five months. This means that as of now, we need to administer about 180 crore more jabs. The target is to inoculate the adult population of about 92 crore. This means that we should be able to cover all adults by December. Also, the way our system is geared which shows that each centre can administer about 120-125 doses. So, if we have 1 lakh centres, over 1 crore doses can be administered. Today the production of Covaxin is about 5 crore doses a month which will be ramped up to 1.2 billion by September.

Dr Arora further said that in order to ramp up vaccination, the suppliers of Covishield and Covaxin, the vaccines being used under the Covid vaccination drive, are working towards increasing production. He said that Bharat Biotech has started two new plants to increase the production of Covaxin.

Further, he said that in just about two weeks, Zydus Cadila’s Covid Vaccine may get regulatory approval. The company has already submitted the application and the required data to the Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI). Biological E is expected to submit the data soon, they are still performing the phase three trials, he said adding that by September-October the vaccine will be available. On the status of availability of Sputnik Lite vaccine in India, Dr Arora said,

The manufacturers are yet to share the data with us. As soon as they do, we will be able to see what able to move forward.

Vaccine For Children: Where Does India Stand?

On the status of vaccine development for children, Dr Arora said that Covaxin Phase III trials have started and by the end of September there will be some result. He said that by January next year, the country will be ready to vaccinate children in the age group 12-18 years with Covaxin. He also said that prior to Covaxin, Zydus Cadila’s COVID vaccine might get approved by September and children may start getting inoculated then.

Also Read: WHO Chief Calls For Vaccinating 10 Per Cent Population In Every Nation By September

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 (WaterSanitation 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 pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

22,70,55,138Cases
18,97,86,461Active
3,25,98,424Recovered
46,70,253Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 22,70,55,138 and 46,70,253 have died; 18,97,86,461 are active cases and 3,25,98,424 have recovered as on September 17, 2021 at 5:36 am.

India

3,33,81,728 34,403Cases
3,39,0563,867Active
3,25,98,424 37,950Recovered
4,44,248 320Deaths
In India, there are 3,33,81,728 confirmed cases including 4,44,248 deaths. The number of active cases is 3,39,056 and 3,25,98,424 have recovered as on September 17, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,11,525 3,595

52,893 310

63,20,310 3,240

1,38,322 45

Kerala

44,46,228 22,182

1,86,754 4,559

42,36,309 26,563

23,165 178

Karnataka

29,65,191 1,108

16,202 282

29,11,434 808

37,555 18

Tamil Nadu

26,40,361 1,693

16,756 120

25,88,334 1,548

35,271 25

Andhra Pradesh

20,34,786 1,367

14,708 105

20,06,034 1,248

14,044 14

Uttar Pradesh

17,09,628 23

193 11

16,86,549 11

22,886 1

West Bengal

15,59,567 707

8,025 25

15,32,922 725

18,620 7

Delhi

14,38,373 28

409 5

14,12,880 22

25,084 1

Odisha

10,18,298 580

5,335 105

10,04,845 681

8,118 4

Chhattisgarh

10,04,988 31

352 2

9,91,077 29

13,559

Rajasthan

9,54,230 4

103 1

9,45,173 5

8,954

Gujarat

8,25,677 22

149 0

8,15,446 22

10,082

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,374 7

119 5

7,81,738 12

10,517

Haryana

7,70,697 9

327 8

7,60,562 17

9,808

Bihar

7,25,864 12

72 6

7,16,134 6

9,658

Telangana

6,62,785 259

5,282 43

6,53,603 301

3,900 1

Punjab

6,01,180 30

314 11

5,84,399 38

16,467 3

Assam

5,97,074 468

5,381 15

5,85,914 479

5,779 4

Jharkhand

3,48,102 6

102 8

3,42,867 14

5,133

Uttarakhand

3,43,330 20

284 12

3,35,657 32

7,389

Jammu And Kashmir

3,27,466 170

1,421 72

3,21,630 98

4,415

Himachal Pradesh

2,16,430 127

1,568 82

2,11,215 206

3,647 3

Goa

1,75,183 95

699 1

1,71,195 96

3,289

Puducherry

1,25,170 107

963 63

1,22,380 42

1,827 2

Manipur

1,17,913 216

2,614 7

1,13,478 219

1,821 4

Tripura

83,787 31

427 26

82,553 56

807 1

Meghalaya

78,958 229

1,804 140

75,784 86

1,370 3

Mizoram

76,591 1,121

13,888 85

62,449 1,202

254 4

Chandigarh

65,168 4

31 2

64,319 2

818

Arunachal Pradesh

53,990 47

536 9

53,183 56

271

Sikkim

30,802 64

775 28

29,648 36

379

Nagaland

30,763 32

505 14

29,610 44

648 2

Ladakh

20,631 6

41 1

20,383 5

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,670

5 0

10,661

4

Lakshadweep

10,353

4 0

10,298

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,595 3

15 2

7,451 1

129

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