Published: 15th December 2020
Centre asks states to be ready for 'adverse' effects of COVID-19 vaccination
Bhushan also referred to international cases to make his point, saying that India can't deny the chances of adverse events when vaccination for Covid-19 begins
The Union Health Ministry said on Tuesday that India is doing relatively well in its fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, besides speaking about the way forward -- vaccines. However, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan cautioned about the adverse effects as well, saying that such adverse effects are primarily seen in children and pregnant women after vaccination.
Bhushan said that 29,000 cold-chain points, 240 walk-in coolers, 70 walk-in freezers, 45,000 ice-lined refrigerators, 41,000 deep freezers and 300 solar refrigerators will be used for this purpose. He added that all these equipment have already reached different states.
Bhushan also referred to international cases to make his point, saying that India can't deny the chances of adverse events when vaccination for COVID-19 begins. "The nations where immunisation has already started, particularly in the UK, adverse events did take place on the very first day," he said. Bhushan urged the states and UTs to prepare for such scenarios.
He further said that the number of cases per million population in this country continues to be among the lowest in the world. While the global average remains 9,000, the number of cases in India is 7,178 per million population. Meanwhile, V.K. Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, acknowledged how Delhi's Covid surge has been brought under control and congratulated the government for that. But he sternly warned against taking this lightly, adding that the curve can go wrong as well.
"There are some states where we still have concerns," he said, urging the government and citizens of Uttarakhand, Nagaland and Himachal Pradesh to make "every effort" to bring the current situation there under control. This week, the Drugs Controller General of India granted clearance for clinical trials of another vaccine candidate from India," he said. Genoa company, he said, with the help of the Centre's Department of Biotechnology, has developed a vaccine.
The technology used in it is akin to Pfizer. However, it can be maintained at normal cold-chain conditions, in a normal fridge, unlike Pfizer, Paul added. He asserted that as of today, six vaccines are undergoing clinical trials in India.