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Pace Of COVID-19 Vaccination Has Been Kept Slow Intentionally To Iron Out Glitches: Indian Council Of Medical Research

Dr. NK Arora said that the pace of immunisation has been kept slower than the target as the government wanted to take stock of the hiccups and gradually iron those out

Pace Of COVID-19 Vaccination Has Been Kept Slow Intentionally To Iron Out Glitches: Indian Council Of Medical Research
  • India has the capacity of immunising 50-80 lakh people per day: ICMR
  • We are currently inoculating 2 lakh individuals daily on average: Dr Arora
  • Initial target of immunisation was 3 lakh people per day: Dr Arora

New Delhi: According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), over 87.2 lakh (87,20,822) people have been immunised against coronavirus in the last one month of COVID-19 vaccination drive which was initiated on January 16. The drive aims to inoculate 30 crore individuals identified as priority population in the next few months and while the original target was to vaccinate three lakh people per day, only two lakh individuals per day on an average are getting the vaccine currently, said Dr NK Arora, Chair, Operations Research Group, National Task Force for COVID-19, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Addressing people’s concerns about the lag in meeting the daily vaccination target, Dr Arora said that the lag fall back is intentional and the drive will pick up the speed soon.

Also Read: Coronavirus Vaccine Explained: What Is Intra Nasal Vaccine?

While answering people’s queries around COVID-19 vaccination on the social media, Dr Arora who is also an advisor to the National Adverse Event Following Immunisation (AEFI) Committee explained in a video message that was shared by the Union Health Ministry on its Twitter handle,

Despite the lag, we are the fastest to achieve 40 lakh vaccinations within two weeks. The pace has deliberately been kept low. This is because we want to identify all hiccups in the initial days of the drive itself so that they can be ironed out. The country has the capacity to immunise 50-80 lakh individuals per day. This means that we will be setting up about 50,000 to 1 lakh immunization sites. India has a very rich experience of two decades of immunizing over 17 crore children within a week under pulse polio programmes several times in a year. It is a matter of pride that we are the fastest and after all marathons are won by a slow start.

Dr Arora received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine on January 16 and will be getting the second dose on February 13. The two vaccines, that got the regulatory approval of the Drug Controller General of India (DGCI)- Covishiled which was developed by Oxford University along with AstraZeneca and produced by Serum Institute of India (SII) and Covaxin which has been developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with ICMR, are two-dose vaccines. Experts have recommended a gap of 28 days (four weeks) between the two shots. Explaining the importance of taking both the doses, Dr Arora said,

Taking both doses is important because until the complete course of vaccination is taken, the desired immunity against the coronavirus will not be built. The two doses should be given on a gap of four weeks and it is only after 15 days of the second dose that the individuals can become immune against COVID-19.

Also Read: Pfizer Vaccine Can Neutralise UK, South Africa Virus Variants: Study

He further added that even after being inoculated, people are required to continue following the COVID appropriate behaviour which includes using a face mask when gout out in public, maintaining physical distance and practicing hand hygiene. He said,

Preventive measure must be followed even after getting immunized to stop the spread of the virus. This is because, a person can catch the virus and while it will not harm them because of the immunity built, it can spread to others from them.

Dr Arora also highlighted that people who have already recovered from COVID-19 should also go for vaccination. On the need to give the vaccine to those who have suffered corona, Dr Arora said that it has been found that one-third of those in the country who have had coronavirus before, did not develop the necessary antibodies in their body. He also said that even if a person has developed antibodies, it is not known for how long the person will remain protected.

While signing off, Dr Arora responded to a question on whether people suffering from serious diseases like Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes should get vaccinated, to which he said that such people should take the vaccine because they are at greater risk of severe COVID-19 infection and death. However, he stressed on consulting a doctor before taking the vaccine if they have any doubts.

Also Read: COVID-19 Explained: Will The COVID-19 Vaccine Be Effective Against The Latest Coronavirus Variant?

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

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