India may be able to vaccinate all its adult population by year end – Health Minister

NEW DELHI, May 21 – India’s Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan today said the country may be in position to vaccinate all its adult population by end of this year.

Briefing state leaders on the COVID-19 situation and progress of vaccination, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said in the last 24 hours, 3,57,295 COVID patients have recovered and a recovery rate of 87.25 has been observed.

A statement issued by the Press Information Bureau of India, said the minister expressed satisfaction that daily recoveries have outnumbered the daily new COVID cases for the last 8 days consistently.

India has been recording less than 300,000 cases for the last five days while there were currently 30,27,925 active cases in the country.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan also highlighted that a total of 19,18,89,503 vaccine doses had been given to its citizens. The government is also in the active process of supporting the manufacturer of vaccines for ramping up vaccine availability in the country, he said, expressing hope that in the subsequent months, there will be an exponential rise in production of vaccines in the country.

“Between August to December 2021, India will have procured 216 crore vaccine doses, while by July this year, 51 crore (510 million) doses will be procured”. The Union Health Minister also said that by the end of the year, the country will be in a position to vaccinate at least all of its adult population.

Highlighting the issue of Black Fungus (Mucormycosis), Dr. Harsh Vardhan informed that all the states/UTs have been asked to notify it as an epidemic and ensure that all the cases of black fungus are duly reported. He assured that all the necessary information and guidelines regarding diabetes control and restricted use of steroids have been provided to states. He also touched upon the speculation that the virus might mutate in future and endanger children.He informed that the health facilities are being upgraded to deal with any such exigency.

Dr Harsh Vardhan also cautioned towards the new emerging trend in the country where the smaller states were showing an upward trend, and said there was a dire need to be extremely cautious. He asked the states to follow the basic principles of COVID Appropriate Behaviour along with testing, tracking, tracing, treating and now vaccinating to fight against the pandemic. He emphasised the need to step up vaccination and reiterated the need to dedicate 70% of vaccines provided by the central government for the second dose.