Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan has pledged that a vaccination campaign against the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 will cover more than 25 crore Indians by July 2021.
Since the pandemic began, a vaccine has been touted as a pancaea. As previously reported by Health Issues India
“The point at which India can claim to have achieved herd immunity against COVID-19 is “far away” for the country’s population. This is according to Rajesh Bhushan, an official at the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. He has claimed that the only way India can achieve a level of immunity across the population sufficient to truly contain the COVID-19 is through vaccination campaigns.”
In that report, Nicholas Parry referenced India’s success in the fight against polio. He wrote
“For a long time India was deemed to be one of the most difficult countries to achieve eradication owing to its vast population and geographical diversity. Despite this, a prolonged grassroots vaccination campaign supported by both boots on the ground across India’s healthcare workforce and accredited social health activists (ASHAs), as well as both political and media figures allowed a successful campaign.
“This coordinated and widely-lauded effort eventually rid India of polio entirely. Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has even invoked India’s success in tackling polio as cause for optimism in India’s fight against COVID-19 (the disease caused by the novel coronavirus). Speaking of India’s collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), he noted “time and again the Government of India and WHO together have shown our ability, competence and prowess to the whole world. With our combined meticulous work, done with full sincerity and dedication, we were able to get rid of polio. Today I would like to remind you of your potential and ability, and the big things we can do together…with your joint efforts we can defeat the coronavirus and save lives.””
Vardhan has now proclaimed the Union Government’s intention to cover 25 crore citizens at a minimum with a vaccine against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) or, simply, coronavirus by the summer of 2021. “Our government is working round the clock to ensure that there is a fair and equitable distribution of vaccines, once they are ready,” he said. “Our utmost priority is how to ensure [a] vaccine for each and everybody in the country.”