Encouraged by the record 85 lakh doses administered on the first day of the PM’s free Covid vaccine scheme, a top government official said on Tuesday that the inoculation drive would aim to cover at least 1 crore people a day.
Chairperson, National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation in India (NTAGI), Dr. N. K. Arora said that the 81 crore dosage achieved in a day 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,” he explained.
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.
He also assured that there won’t be any issue regarding the availability of vaccines. “We will have around 20 – 22 crore doses next month.”
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.
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. He added that at the same time, nothing is written in stone.
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.