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Monday, April 12, 2021

Not sending Covid vaccine abroad at expense of Indians: Harsh Vardhan

Health minister Harsh Vardhan said the government believed the 'world was our family' and 'science was global', but quoted vaccination figures to show that India’s inoculation programme was well on track.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
March 17, 2021 1:15:22 am
Maharashtra, Harsh Vardhan, Covid-19 vaccine, Maharashtra coronavirus, Centre to Maharashtra, Maharashtra vaccination, india news, indian expressUnion Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan. (Twitter/@drharshvardhan)

Union Health minister Dr, Harsh Vardhan on Tuesday said the Centre was “striking a sensible balance” in sending vaccines abroad, and none sent to the 72 countries so far was at the expense of the people of India.

He said that India believed that the “world was our family” and that “science was global”, but quoted vaccination figures to show that India was well on track in its inoculation programme.

Answering questions of multiple MPs on vaccination, including Shaktisinh Gohil and Sukhram Yadav, Dr Harsh Vardhan said, “Vaccines are not being sent to other countries at the expense of Indians. Experts at the highest level and committees that the government has set up are maintaining a sensible balance about it.”

He said 30 lakh people were vaccinated on Monday, and that a target of 3 crore has been touched. Responding to Yadav, he said the world was lauding Prime Minister Modi for sending the vaccine to 72 countries and that the government believed the “world was a family.”

With MPs raising the question of vaccinations for those that who cannot go to hospitals through a home delivery mechanism, with MP Anil Desai suggesting mobile clinics, Vardhan said the government and expert committees were cognizant of this, and were discussing it. He said that thus far, this had proved difficult because of the arrangements and protocols that are needed for the 30-minute observation period after vaccination, and the steps that are taken in that interim.

He also said that information on India’s COVID strains are made freely available to other international organisations and India has access to their information as well. He added that while experts running India’s Covid policy keep themselves abreast of developments in the country and abroad on these issues, evidence so far suggests the vaccines in use in India have efficacy against mutants.

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