No Shortage of Vaccines, India On Track to Vaccinate Entire Population by December: ICMR Chief

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There will be enough doses to inoculate 1 crore people every day by July or early August, ICMR director-general Dr Balram Bhargava said on Tuesday. Maintaining that there is no shortage of vaccine, Bhargava, while speaking at the routine Health Ministry press briefing, reiterated the Centre’s promise of vaccinating the entire population by December.

“There is no shortage of vaccines. This is what you feel if you want to vaccinate the country within a month. Our population is four times that of the United States. Need to have some patience… by mid-July, or early-August, we’ll have enough doses for a crore a day,” he said.

The Centre has so far provided, both through the free of cost and through direct state procurement categories, more than 23 crore vaccine doses to states and UTs.

On mixing vaccines amid an acute shortage as a huge chink pf population is waiting for their second doses, the Centre said that taking two different shots is not protocol and there is no change in the schedule of the two-dose Covishield and Covaxin vaccines.

Specifying norms for ‘unlocking’ districts from pandemic restrictions, the Centre said that the Covid positivity rate should be below five per cent for a week, over 70 per cent of vulnerable population should be vaccinated and there should be community ownership to implement Covid-appropriate behaviour.

It said the positivity rate is less than five per cent in 344 districts and 30 states have reported a decline in active Covid-19 cases since the last week. There has also been an almost 69 per cent decline in Covid cases since the peak recorded on May 7, the Centre said.

(With PTI inputs)

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