Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan held a review meeting on Wednesday with eight States – Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Punjab, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and Telangana – depicting a high growth rate in the number of daily Covid 19 cases, higher mortality, very high and growing positivity rate. He said although in the last 24 hours 3.48 lakh new cases were registered, a net decline of 11,122 cases was recorded in the active caseload. This is the second consecutive day of decline in the active cases, according to a government press release.
Vardhan pointed out that while 13.66 crore people have been administered the first dose, the second dose has been administered to only 3.86 crore. He urged States to focus more on second-dose vaccinations. He noted that vaccination is the big weapon in the country’s fight against Covid-19.
“States should not lose sight of those who are to get the second dose of Covid vaccine: 70 per cent at minimum ought to be allocated to meet the requirement of second dose, while 30 per cent ought to be reserved for the first dose,” said the Minister while urging States to ensure that healthcare workers and frontline workers are fully vaccinated as they form the vulnerable categories.
He added that under the phase-3 vaccination strategy, along with free vaccination under the government’s channel, States can use the non-government channel to have a holistic vaccination coverage of their population.
“Vaccines for Covid-19, which have been developed and are being manufactured in foreign countries and which have been granted emergency approval for restricted use by USFDA, EMA, UK MHRA, PMDA Japan or which are listed in WHO (Emergency Use Listing), may be granted emergency use approval in India.
“The production capacity of the vaccine manufacturers is also being ramped up. While it will touch 8 crore doses by May 2021, it will touch 9 crore in June 2021,” the Minister was quoted as saying.