Fast COVID-19 vaccination key to go back to normal, says NITI Aayog’s Dr VK Paul

New Delhi: As India recorded the highest ever single-day COVID-19 inoculation on Monday (June 21, 2021), NITI Aayog’s Dr VK Paul said that the fast COVID-19 vaccination is the ‘key to go back to normal’.

Dr Paul said that the country can open its economy and resume normal work if it vaccinates quickly.

“We need to do our daily work, maintain our social life, open schools, businesses, take care of our economy; we will be able to do all this only when we are able to vaccinate at a fast pace,” Dr Paul was quoted as saying by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in a press release.

Best time to take COVID-19 vaccine

The NITI Aayog Member said that the second wave of coronavirus has now receded and it is the ‘best time to take the COVID-19 vaccine’. He said that it is a big mistake to think that the Indian vaccines are unsafe. “All vaccines of the world have been approved under Emergency Use Authorization, just like our vaccines. People from various sections of society have taken these,” Dr Paul stated.

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Dr Paul pointed out how India’s decision to vaccinate its health workers on priority has protected them during the second wave. He said, “Very few health care workers got infected, otherwise, our hospitals themselves would have collapsed during the second wave, so please be assured that people are being saved from infection due to the vaccine.”

Third wave of COVID-19 is in our hands 

Dr VK Paul commented on the possible COVID-19 third wave and said that it can be stopped if COVID Appropriate Behaviour is followed and the majority of people get vaccinated. He said, “Why will there be a third wave if we follow COVID Appropriate Behaviour and get ourselves vaccinated? There are many countries where even second wave has not arrived; if we follow COVID appropriate behaviour, this period will pass.”

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The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare also quoted the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation in India (NTAGI) Chairperson Dr NK Arora who said that India has the capacity to administer 1.25 crore doses in 24 hours. He said that this target is especially achievable in the wake of good support from the private sector. 

No issue regarding vaccine supply in future

Dr Arora stated that there won’t be any issue regarding the availability of coronavirus vaccines in the future. The NTAGI Chairperson said that India will have over 20 crore doses in July and 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 the current dosage interval of COVISHIELD

Dr NK Arora said that there is no need at the moment to change the dosage interval of COVISHIELD vaccines. He informed, “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.” 

Meanwhile, India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage is nearing 29 crores after 86.16 lakh vaccine doses were administered across the country on Monday. 

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(With PIB inputs)

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