Ensure our near and dear ones get vaccinated on time

April 10, 2021 0 By FM

We are in the end game of the COVID-19 pandemic in India, and to succeed at this stage, we need to follow 3 steps: Keep politics out of the COVID-19 vaccination drive, trust the science behind COVID-19 vaccines, and ensure our near and dear ones get vaccinated on time.

At this juncture, my request to everyone is that just like people embraced ‘Jan Andolan for COVID-19 appropriate behaviour’, they should embrace Jan Andolan for COVID-19 vaccination and get all COVID-19 vaccine shots whenever they are eligible.

The government has already involved private players in COVID-19 vaccination, and if hospitals want, they can conduct vaccination 24×7. Healthcare workers (HCWs) and frontline workers across India rose to the occasion and sacrificed not only their time with family but also their own mental, physical and emotional health for this beloved nation.

Likewise, people should trust the science behind vaccines and ensure that their near and dear ones get vaccinated on time. Unlike most other countries, we have a steady supply of COVID-19 vaccines that are safe with proven immunogenicity and efficacy. Based on the initial results, these made-in-India vaccines have shown some of the lowest adverse events following immunisation (AEFI) anywhere in the world.

It is also important to note that India cannot be safe from coronavirus and COVID-19 if the rest of the world continues to be unsafe, which is why it is essential to curb COVID-19 vaccine nationalism. Today children in the entire world need to be vaccinated against poliomyelitis only because Pakistan and Afghanistan failed to eradicate this disease from their respective countries. We have already supplied COVID-19 vaccine doses to 62 different countries. If poor and underdeveloped countries continue to harbour the novel coronavirus, we shall not be able to ensure safety for all. Therefore, a fair and equitable distribution of the vaccine is also the biggest need of the hour.

Dr HARSH VARDHAN, Union Health Minister, India

—As spoken at the Delhi Medical Association’s (DMA’s) 62nd Annual Delhi State Medical Conference (MEDICON 2021)