Government working to bring Moderna vaccine: V.K. Paul

“Our COVID case decline has slowed down and this is a warning sign”

July 16, 2021 08:05 pm | Updated 08:17 pm IST - NEW DELHI

File photo shows a health worker prepares a Moderna Coronavirus vaccine.

File photo shows a health worker prepares a Moderna Coronavirus vaccine.

Indian government “is working on specifics to bring in the Moderna vaccine,” member (health), NITI Aayog, V.K. Paul said on Friday.

At the Health Ministry press conference, he said people were still vulnerable to the COVID virus which was very much around. “We have to be alert. Our COVID case decline has slowed down and this is a warning sign,” he said.

Dr. Paul said that the COVID-19 situation in most of the regions has turned from bad to worse. “Overall, the world is moving towards a third wave. World Health Organisation’s warning about the third COVID wave is a red flag,” he said.

Speaking about the vaccination process in the country, he said a target to administer 50 crore doses before July had been set and “we are on the path to achieving it,” said Dr. Paul.

Routine vaccinations

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry has said that reports alleging that lakhs of Indian children may have missed their routine vaccinations due to disruptions caused by COVID-19, leading to increased risk of future outbreaks and deaths, “are not based on facts and do not reflect the true picture.”

“It is clarified that since the outbreak of the pandemic, the Ministry has been focused towards maintaining essential services, including immunisation under the Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP). The Ministry, along with all States and UTs and development partners, has worked towards mitigating negative impacts of COVID-19 and taking urgent actions to ensure that children receive life-saving vaccines,” said the Health Ministry in its release.

National guideline

It added that in order to mitigate negative impacts of COVID-19 on vaccination services, many other steps have also been taken. “A national guideline to safely continue immunisation services during the COVID-19 pandemic, including polio Supplementary Immunisation Activities (SIAs), has been developed. In order to identify reasons for missed vaccine doses, monitoring & supervision is being done by State and district task forces for prompt corrective action. Also, high risk groups/areas (e.g. children who missed vaccination during COVID-19 outbreaks, districts with high vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs), districts with low vaccine coverage, etc.) for risk mitigation have been identified,” noted the Ministry.

It added that Intensified Mission Indradhanush identified 250 high risk districts where more than 9.5 lakh children and 2.24 lakh pregnant women were vaccinated.

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