Between August to December 2021, India will have an availability of 216 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has said that India’s entire adult population will be vaccinated against coronavirus by the end of this year, stating that the government is in the active process of supporting the manufacturer of vaccines for ramping up vaccine availability in the country.

During a COVID review meeting held on Friday, Vardhan expressed hope that in the subsequent months, there will be an exponential rise in production of vaccines in the country. He added that “Between August to December 2021, India will have procured 216 crore vaccine doses, while by July this year, 51 crore doses will be procured”.

The Minister cautioned towards the new emerging trend in the country. He highlighted that now the smaller states are showing an upward trend and there is 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 emphasized the need to step up vaccination and reiterated the need to dedicate 70% of vaccines provided by the central government for the second dose. He also requested the states/UTs to be vigilant against vaccination wastage.

Highlighting the issue of Black Fungus (Mucormycosis), 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.

Vardhan 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 emergency.

During the meeting, Minister of State, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ashwini Kumar Choubey reiterated that testing and vaccination should be the focus. He stated that the Centre is providing full assistance to states in terms of medicines for Mucormycosis, and also Oxygen for the hospitalized patients. He also appreciated the efforts made by all the States/UTs in the fight against COVID.

Through a detailed and comprehensive presentation, Director NCDC Sujeet Kumar Singh highlighted the trend of active cases, positivity rate and fatality rate in nine states/UTs. He cautioned against the rising cases in smaller states, especially Himachal Pradesh. He emphasized on the need to increase surveillance, testing and focus on potential hotspots.

Taking note of advice to augment their preparedness to contain COVID-19, the state health officials expressed gratitude for the help they have been receiving from the Union Government.

Vardhan assured the states of all support from the Centre in augmenting their vaccine drive.