GANDHINAGER, WNS: Vaccination of the entire 1.3 billion population against COVID-19 in India would soon be a reality, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said on Friday, adding that the Centre has started a new COVID platform to track particulars of potential vaccine beneficiaries and also issue electronic certificates to them.
The Health Minister was reviewing the dry run of administering COVID-19 vaccine at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital in Tamil Nadu as part of a state-wide programme.
India, he said, has done extremely well in developing vaccines in the shortest possible time, and presently two vaccines have been given emergency use authorisation. "In the next few days, also in the near future, we should be able to give this vaccine to our countrymen prioritising those who are at risk in public and private sectors. The government has already made known the scheme of things," he added.
The Minister also visited the Government Omandurar Hospital and a few other centres here. In a country that is vast like India with a population of 1.35 billion, everything was done smoothly and meticulously without any glitches.
"We started the preparation for the impending vaccine drive against COVID four or five months ago after prime minister Narendra Modiji constituted the national expert group for vaccination. We worked all the minute details and shared the information with those at grassroot level," he said. In the process, several lakhs of health workers were trained adequately.
Earlier, the government used to track the vaccine in terms of the temperature it was stored. "Now we started the new COVID platform in tracking the details of potential beneficiaries, places where they are likely to get the shots, pre and post vaccination including giving an electronic certificate and follow it up with the second dose with detailed text messages and reminders," the Minister said.
The details of this 150-page document has been shared with all stakeholders to make the vaccination drive successful, he added. India was the first country in the world to take note of the pandemic on January 6, 2020 and launch into action.
A year of action has led to the country having one million testing kits per day from a mere one when the pandemic started. India has the highest recovery rate and the lowest fatality rate and almost all those infected got treated and returned home.
The scientists and medical fraternity besides those in diverse fields rose to the occasion and displayed exemplary dedication and commitment. "We are able to export PPE kits, N95 masks and ventilators – almost everything that people used to talk about shortage then. Things transformed for the better due to the inspiration given by the prime minister for the development of Atma Nirbhar Bharat," Harsh Vardhan said..