Quick Vaccination key to open economy: Dr V K Paul

New Delhi : Fast vaccination is imperative for opening India’s economy and resuming normal work, NITI Aayog (Health) member Dr V K Paul has said.

“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”, said Dr Paul while speaking to DD News on Monday.

Nearly 81 lakh vaccine doses were administered in the country on Monday, when the Revised Guidelines for COVID vaccination came into force, he said, adding what made it possible was planning and coordination between Central and state government.

On the possible third wave the NITI Aayog member said it can be stopped if COVID Appropriate Behaviour is followed and majority of people get vaccinated. “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.”

National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation in India Chairperson, Dr N K Arora, who too joined the interview, termed the dosage achieved on Monday a ‘big’ achievement. The aim, he said is to vaccinate at least one crore people every day which is possible easily. ‘With the current capacity, 1.25 crore people will be easily administered vaccines daily,’ he stated.

The Chairperson assured that there won’t be any issue regarding availability of vaccine. “We will have around 20 – 22 crore doses next month.” 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.

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. The basic principle is that our people should get the maximum benefit from every dose of the vaccine. We find that the current dosages are proving to be beneficial.” He added that at the same time, nothing is written in stone.

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