No Fixed Deadline For Completing Vaccination Drive In India: Govt Tells Parliament

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New Delhi: The Union Health Ministry on Friday said the government expects to vaccinate the entire adult population of the country against Covid-19 by the end of December, adding, however, there is not set deadline for the inoculation of the rest of the population yet.

“In view of the dynamic and evolving nature of Covid-19 pandemic, no fixed timeline at present can be indicated for the completion of vaccination drive, however, it is expected that beneficiaries aged 18 years and above will be vaccinated by December 2021,” Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Bharti Pawar said in the Parliament.

The statement comes two months after the now Union Human Resource and Development Minister Prakash Javadekar said that India’s vaccination will be completed before the end of 2021.

READ: Indian Govt’s Expert Group In Talks With Pfizer For Supply Of COVID Vaccine: Union Health Minister

Hitting out at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi who had highlighted earlier in May that only about 3 percent of India’s population has been fully vaccinated or received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine so far, Javadekar claimed that the opposition has come up with such statements just to defame Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“India’s vaccination will be completed before 2021. The Health Ministry has given a blueprint for how 1.08 billion people, with 2.16 billion doses, will get vaccinated before December 2021,” he said as quoted by Hindustan Times.

With almost 20 crore doses already administered, India ranks second in the world and the vaccination rates are expected to rise starting in August, he added, dismissing the Congress leader’s criticism of the country’s slow inoculation programme.

According to Our World in Data, a data-driven website, India has fully vaccinated roughly 6.4 percent of its adult population, which is estimated to be 94 crore people. According to the most recent data, 41.8 crore doses were given out and 8.76 crore persons were fully vaccinated as of July 21.

ALSO READ: 60% Of Kerala’s Population Can Be Vaccinated If Centre Provides Adequate Vaccines: CM Pinarayi Vijayan

The SII’s Covishield (the made-in-India version of the Oxford Astrazeneca shot), Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Russia’s Sputnik V vaccines are all being used in India’s immunisation campaign.

The Centre has approved the use of Moderna’s vaccine in an emergency use, but it is still on its way to India.

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