Ministry of Health and Family Welfare:
India has the capacity to administer 1.25 crore doses a day
Chairperson, National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation in India (NTAGI), Dr. N. K. Arora said that the dosage achieved yesterday is a big achievement.
“What we did today is a big achievement. 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.”
Dr. Arora said that 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.
Speaking how India has been successful in the past as well, Dr. 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.
Public participation and awareness essential to remove vaccine hesitancy
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”.
He also mentioned that preparations have been made for spreading awareness about vaccination and ASHA workers and frontline workers have already started working from grass root levels to fight vaccine hesitancy.
“There will not be any issue regarding vaccine supply”
The Chairperson assured that there won’t be any issue regarding availability of vaccine. “We will have around 20 – 22 crore doses next month.” Dr. Arora also assured that the health infrastructure is well spread out to ensure that the vaccination drive reaches every corner of the country including hilly, tribal and very sparsely populated areas.
No need for changing current dosage interval of COVISHIELD vaccine
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.