India will vaccinate everyone by December 2021, says Union minister


Guwahati: Hours after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi raised questions on the Centre’s Covid-19 vaccine strategy, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said that India will be fully vaccinated against Covid by the end of 2021. “Health Ministry gave a roadmap for producing 216 crore doses by then,” he said.

Earlier today, Gandhi in a virtual press conference said the “evolving” virus was strengthening by the day, and the central government’s ignorance of its nature was giving the virus space to grow and spread. Gandhi also said the “permanent” solution to fight the virus was vaccination, and the reason behind India’s poor Covid performance was because the Centre had “no vaccination strategy”.

India recorded 1.86 lakh new covid-19 cases in the 24 hours ending 8 am Friday, the lowest spike in daily infections in the last 44 days. The number of active cases further declined to 23.43 lakh while over 2.48 crore people have recovered from the virus till now.  With 3,660 new fatalities, the death toll is now over 3.18 lakh.

In another development, a day after the United States asked the World Health Organisation to carry out the second phase of its investigation into the origins of Covid-19, India on Friday extended its support for the inquiry, calling it an “important step.” In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs said, “The WHO convened global study on the origin of Covid-19 is an important first step. It stressed the need for next phase studies as also for further data and studies to reach robust conclusions.”