Dr Harsh Vardhan,Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare along with his wife Smt. Nutan Goel were administeredthe second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine (Covaxin) today at Delhi Heart and Lung Institute, New Delhi.They had taken the first dose of the vaccine 28 days before on 2nd March 2021.Appealing every eligible person to get vaccinated,especially in light of the recent decision to extend vaccination to everyone aged above 45 years of age, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, “We are yet to feel the slightest discomfort since our 1st dose.”He also took the occasion to detail the provisions for AEFI (Adverse Events Following Immunization) monitoring incorporated in the protocol and the abysmally low proportion of beneficiaries reporting AEFI. He re-iterated, “all vaccines are absolutely safe, immunogenic and effective.” He addressed the concerns of reporters on individuals reporting Corona infection post their vaccination: “These cases are extremely rare. Antibodies take two weeks to be fully developed after the second dose of the vaccine which provides a window for infection. This takes us to our earlier appeal of strict adherence to COVID Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) regardless of the vaccination exercise.” He added that COVID infection in those who are vaccinated would be very mild and would not progress to an advanced stage.
Squashing various vaccine relatedrumours being circulated on social mediawhich he termed a nuisance to society, he strongly made the case to trust Science over Whatsapp forwards.Assuring everyone on the Union Government’s vigilance of the second surge of COVID cases being reported across the country, Dr. Harsh Vardhan observed, “This situation is a grim reflection of the callous attitude of people in following COVID Appropriate Behaviour. Following these norms along with participation in vaccination are the key pillars in our Jan Andolan against COVID.” He said that essentials in controlling the disease trajectory like the ‘Test, Track & Treat’ strategy are now well known along with clinical procedures to treat patients of severe COVID. He also spoke on the highest level of engagement in monitoring the COVID situation referring to the Prime Minister’s VC with Chief Ministers of States and the frequent VCs conducted by Union Health Secretary with his colleagues in States and UTs. He reminded everyone that fatality rate stands at just 1.34% while India’s recovery rate is the highest in the world. He also mentioned that for the 46 districts reporting cases, around 400 districts have been free of COVID (187 districts with no fresh cases in 7 days, 84 districts in 14 days, 20 districts in 21 days, 139 districts in 28 days).The Minister also informed that India has sent over 6 crore vaccine doses to 84 nations across the globe while seven more vaccines are in the pipeline undergoing their clinical trials. He stressedthat the principle ‘none of us are safe until everybody is safe’ which is at the heart of the Vaccine Maitri programmeis also applicable in vaccinating one’s near and dear ones. He ended with pointing out that 7 lakh trained vaccinators, seamless registration in CoWIN portal for over 10 lakh vaccination sessions, the government and private facilities administering the vaccines are on the path to make the vaccination drive a success.