Mumbai: Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Monday claimed that the much-awaited COVID-19 vaccine may be available in India in January next year and is preparing to launch a large workforce nationwide vaccination program.
The Health Minister also said that the government will try to resolve various issues among the people regarding the vaccine, but if no one wants to get vaccinated, the government will not force them.
Harshvardhan said, “Through education, the issues of hesitancy will be addressed. The government will spread awareness about the vaccine and educate people that it is for their good and benefit.”
The Health Minister then announced that the government has given priority to more than 300 million people for the COVID-19 vaccine. This includes health workers, police, military and sanitation workers, people above the age of 50, and people under 50, but some suffer from diseases.
Asked if the Pandemic had the worst end, Drs. Harsh Vardhan said, “I think too. We have about three lakh active cases in the country. A few months ago, we had around 10 lakh cases. Total of more than one crore. More than 95 lakh patients have been recovered. We have the highest recovery rate in the world. “
“I think the worst is probably over, but with a strong note of caution. We need to strictly follow the proper behavior of COVID. We can’t afford to relax so major tools against COVID will ultimately be masks, hand hygiene, and physical distance,” he added.
Focusing on the COVID-19 vaccine, the Union Health Minister stated that the government’s priority is the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.
He confirmed that in “any week” of January, India would be in a position to offer the COVID-19 vaccine to its people.
Talking about vaccination preparation, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that the central government has been preparing at the state, district, and block levels for the last four months along with the state governments.
“We have formed task forces at the state, district, and block levels. Thousands of master trainers have been trained across the country. We have conducted training at the state level and trained over 20,000 workers in about 260 districts,” he added.