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India will complete Covid vaccination exercise by December, says Union Minister Prakash Javadekar

Javadekar's response came amid mounting criticism over the crippling shortage of Covid vaccines.

Large crowds at the BL Kapoor vaccination centre in New Delhi. (Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal)

Amid mounting criticism over the crippling shortage of Covid vaccines, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar Friday cited recent remarks of the Health Ministry and stated that India will be fully vaccinated by December this year.

Addressing a press conference, Javadekar said that by December, 216 crore doses of vaccine doses will be ready meaning 108 crore people will be able to get their jabs. “The health ministry has prepared a blueprint to produce 216 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccines within December 2021. With this at least 108 crore people can be vaccinated,” he said.

Javadekar’s response came hours after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi lashed out at the government for its Covid management and held Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “theatrics” responsible for the second coronavirus wave and warned of more waves to come at the current rate of vaccination. With the current pace of vaccinations, he said, the entire inoculation exercise will be completed by May 2024.

Gandhi called on the government to evolve a vaccine strategy for the entire population and pointed out that only 3 per cent of the people have received their jabs so far.

Coming down heavily on Gandhi, Javadekar said the kind of language the Congress leader used and the way he tried to stoke “fears” has confirmed that the “toolkit” was produced by his party. Referring to a purported document about targeting the government, Javadekar alleged that Gandhi’s choice of words like “nautanki” for the Prime Minister at a time when Modi is working to curb the virus is part of the toolkit’s script.

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Rebutting the criticism over the slow pace of vaccination exercise, Javadekar said India has administered 20 crore vaccines so far and ranks second in terms of vaccination. The BJP leader further said Gandhi should rather be concerned about the Congress-ruled states as they have not been able lift their quota from vaccine producers.

First published on: 28-05-2021 at 05:50:34 pm
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