New Delhi: Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Monday said that the Centre will be in a situation to administer vaccines to those above 50 years of age in March this year.
He also indicated that over 18 COVID-19 vaccines are likely to be available in the country in the coming few months.
The minister said India had sent COVID-19 vaccine to 20-25 countries
“We will be in a situation to administer vaccines to those above 50 years of age in March. Eighty to eighty-five per cent of frontline workers have been vaccinated so far in the country. At least 18-20 vaccines are in preclinical, clinical and advanced stages. We can expect them in the coming months,” he said.
“It is crucial that people continue to follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour which I had called a social vaccine, along with the real vaccine. In the last seven days, no new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in 188 districts of the country,” he added.
He said ICMR has informed that apart from COVID-19, there were seven health-related outbreaks across the world.
“Our country was safe from those. Also, in the last few years, we have been successful in battling with H1N1, Zika, Nipah among other virus borne outbreaks in the country,” he said.
“I believe, if the dream of ‘Health for All’ is ever to be fulfilled in world, its model will be developed in India. Our holistic approach, ancient medical wisdom, other health facilities and systems collectively will make a model which can be emulated for the world,” Mr Vardhan said on a hopeful note.
The minister described the union budget as “future-ready” and said the allocation for the health sector has increased.
The Health Ministry has approved two vaccines, Covishield and Covaxin, under Emergency Use Authorisation (EAU).
The Ministry said on Monday said that 82,85,295 have been vaccinated in the country against COVID-19.