‘Aim is to vaccinate those who need it’: Union govt on opening up vaccine for all

“The intensity of COVID-19 pandemic has increased in India. It is spreading faster than last time,” the Health Ministry said.
Representative image of a man getting vaccination in the arm
Representative image of a man getting vaccination in the arm
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The Union government has said that the vaccination drive underway in the country is being conducted in phases since the aim is to administer the vaccine to those who need it, not those who want it. Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan told the media during the Health Ministry’s weekly media briefing that the basic aim of the drive is to protect the vulnerable, reduce death through vaccination and to protect the healthcare system. 

“Many people ask why we shouldn't open vaccination for all. There are two aims of such vaccination drives — to prevent deaths and protect the healthcare system. The aim is not to administer the vaccine to those who want it but to those who need it,” Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, adding that even Western more developed countries have conducted vaccination drives in phases. However, as of Tuesday evening, in the United States of America, which started COVID-19 vaccination in December 2020, about a month before India, as many as 14 states have opened up eligibility for the vaccine to all adults. According to reports, US President Joe Biden is planning on opening up vaccination to all adults across the country, as he had earlier set a target of making all adults vaccine-eligible. 

On Tuesday, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan also told the media that people in India should continue to follow all the COVID-19 appropriate norms like wearing face masks and maintaining physical distancing, and those who are eligible should get vaccinated. 

“Intensity of COVID-19 pandemic increased in India. It is spreading faster than last time,” the Health Ministry also said. The ministry’s briefing comes a day after India recorded an all-time high of 1,03,558 single day new coronavirus infections in a span of 24 hours. The Union government said on Tuesday that more than 43 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered in a span of 24 hours on April 5, making it the highest single-day coverage till now. The total doses given in the country so far are 8,31,10,926.

On Tuesday, the daily rise in new coronavirus infections in India remained above 90,000 for the third consecutive day taking the nationwide COVID-19 tally of cases to 1,26,86,049, according to the Union Health Ministry data. A total of 96,982 cases have been reported in a span of 24 hours, while the death toll increased to 1,65,547 with 446 daily new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed. 

Registering a steady increase for the 27th day in row, the active cases have increased to 7,88,223 comprising 6.21 per cent of the total infections, while the recovery rate has further dropped to 92.48 per cent, the data stated.

With PTI inputs

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