Prime News, National (New Delhi), Oct 22:- “The worst is not over yet. We have created a safety net of 100 cr vaccinations but those who have not been vaccinated yet should come forward to get the vaccine to complete this safety net”, said V.K. Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, in an exclusive interview. He said that talks with WHO for Covaxin EUL approval are in the final stage.
Excerpts from the interview:
Q: India has achieved 100 crore vaccinations. Can we say the worst is over now?
A: This achievement is a momentous landmark for the country. But the worst is not over yet. We have created a safety net of 100 cr vaccines around us, but those who have not been vaccinated yet should come ahead to get vaccinated and complete this safety net.
Not many in the world would have thought India could administer vaccines to a billion people in 9 months. And, that too with two vaccines made on the soil of India. It is a grand example of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’. Apart from providing protection against the deadly disease, this success has given us confidence that we can handle a crisis of this magnitude on our own. Going forward, I am optimistic, that not only can we change the course of the pandemic globally, but also revolutionise the research and development to address other diseases effectively.
Q: How has been India’s journey to achieve this milestone?
A: To reach here, the country overcame people’s apprehensions about the safety and usefulness of the vaccines. Vaccine hesitancy due to ignorance, bias, misleading propaganda has been largely overcome. Challenges of vaccine supply, transportation, cold chain dynamics and vaccine centre logistics were met building on the invaluable experience of the universal immunization program. Communication efforts were directed to educate, assure, motivate and prepare the public through transparent, science-driven, consistent and multi-pronged messaging. CoWin IT platform emerged as the master enabler for the beneficiary interface, session planning, certification and data management.
Our scientists, doctors, entrepreneurs, industry leaders have all contributed to this effort. They have been fighting social and geographical odds at various levels to bring people to the vaccination centres. The 100 crore mark demonstrates the reach and resilience of our public health system. (MR, Inputs: Agencies).