Amidst Covid-19 panic, Union Health Secy says Centre never spoke about vaccinating the entire nation

ICMR DG Balram Bhargava said that if a critical mass of people can be vaccinated and chain of the virus is broken, then there is no need to vaccinate the entire country
For representation purpose
For representation purpose

At a time when many are wondering as to how everyone in India will be vaccinated against Covid-19, the Union Health Ministry said that Centre never spoke of vaccinating the entire country.

“I just want to make it clear that the government has never spoken about vaccinating the entire country,” said Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan during a press conference in Delhi on Tuesday. The presser was also attended by the Director-General of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Balram Bhargava. He added that such scientific matters must be said based on only facts.

Adding to Bhushan’s statement, Bhargava said that if the government can break the chain of the virus by vaccinating a critical mass of people, there is no need to vaccinate the entire population. “It would depend on the effectiveness of the vaccine as our purpose is to break the chain of virus transmission. If we’re able to vaccinate a good number of the people and break the virus transmission, then we may not have to vaccinate the entire population,” he stated, adding that the effectiveness of the vaccine is a problem. It can be 60% effective in some individuals and 70% in others. This will lead the public to go into a dilemma when it comes to immunisation. Bhargava has asked the public to continue wearing masks even after getting vaccinated.

The allegations by a 40-year-old Tamil Nadu-based Covishield volunteer against the Serum Institute of India were also brought up during the press conference. The ministry responded that this “adverse event” is unlikely to halt vaccine trials and it will not hamper the Covid-19 vaccine delivery timetable.

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