Confident to inoculate whole population by Dec 2021: ICMR DG Bhargava


New Delhi: Underlining that there is no shortage of COVID-19 vaccine in the country, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director-General Dr. Balram Bhargava on Tuesday expressed confidence that India’s entire population will be vaccinated by December 2021.

Briefing the press on Covid and vaccination-related updates in the country, Bhargava stressed that the Covid positivity rate should be below 5 per cent for a week and over 70 per cent vulnerable population should be vaccinated in order to lift restrictions in districts.

“We need to be patient. We have administered nearly as many vaccine doses as the United States. There is no shortage of vaccines. By mid-July or August, we will have enough doses to vaccinate 1 crore people per day. We are confident of vaccinating the whole population by December,” he said.

“We have to find a mechanism where we have to ease the containment or lockdown and that has to be done very gradually and slowly. Opening up revolves around three pillars- Positivity rate in the district need to be less than 5 per cent for seven-day average, vulnerable individuals that are aged more than 60 and people aged more than 45 with comorbidity should be vaccinated unto 70 per cent and community ownership of COVID appropriate behaviour,” Dr Bhargava added.

The ICMR DG also said that 239 districts have registered more than 10 per cent COVID-19 positivity rate, 5-10 per cent in 145 districts and less than 5 per cent in 350 districts.

Dr Bhargava also specified that ramping up COVID-19 tests and district-level containment strategy has given positive results.

Earlier, Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar had said that India will vaccinate all its people against COVID-19 by December 2021

The Union Health Ministry has informed that nearly 21,60,46,638 vaccine doses have been administered so far under the nationwide vaccination drive. (ANI)