New Delhi [India], January 16 (ANI): Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Saturday said that the two vaccines against COVID-19 have been presented before the country as "Sanjeevani" in the fight against coronavirus and today is perhaps the day of tremendous relief for all of us.
The Union Health Minister held video conferencing with Health Ministers of all States and Union Territories (UT) to congratulate them on the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination drive in the country.
"The vaccines have been presented before the country like 'Sanjeevani' for us, in the fight against COVID-19. The fight was gradually heading towards victory, now it seems almost definite that the step towards victory will be taken quickly," said Vardhan.
"Today is perhaps the day of tremendous relief for all of us in the past one year," he added.
The Union Health Minister further said that we have received success to an extent in our fight against the coronavirus.
"We received success to an extent in our fight against COVID-19, in one year. Data in the last 3-4 months, our recovery and fatality rate indicate that we were gradually heading towards victory against COVID," said Vardhan.
"To further speed this up, our scientists developed two indigenous vaccines with the support of our scientists, doctors, researchers, vaccine manufacturing industry and citizens of India who volunteered for clinical trials to make research of scientists successful," he added.
He further stated, there's a small section that is spreading rumours about vaccines, their utility, their safety, to mislead the people in society. But such a large number of people received vaccines today with great joy and enthusiasm, eminent doctors received the vaccine, he added.
"A debate has started that why are Health Ministers or people's representatives not taking the vaccine. I was asked that why am I not taking vaccine? I told them that I'll wait for my turn, which will come when people above 50 years of age will be administered the vaccine," said Vardhan.
"If people's representatives would have taken the vaccine first, then people would have said that these leaders have protected themselves first of all. So, we should not get worried about such discussions," he added.
The nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier today through video conferencing.
Termed as the world's largest vaccination programme, covering the entire length and breadth of India, the drive aims to first vaccinate millions of its healthcare and frontline workers and then reach an estimated 3 crore people by the end of its first phase.
In the first phase, government and private-sector health care workers, including Integrated Child Development Services workers, will receive the vaccine.
According to the Union Health Ministry, the full initial procurement amount of 1.65 crore doses of Covishield and Covaxin vaccines against COVID-19 have been allotted to all States/UTs in the proportion of the HealthCare workers database. (ANI)