Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Friday that there should be no misunderstanding about the two Indian vaccines being managed in the country.
During question hour at Lok Sabha, Vardhan said that India had so far vaccinated between 3.5 and 4 crore people and that the side effects of the vaccines were recorded at 0.000432 percent.
“Not all vaccines require comprehensive immunization and all these priority groups that we are vaccinating today such as healthcare personnel first, then the senior citizens and people of the age in between 45 and 59, will be extended in the coming days, all these things will be based on expert opinion.
"Not only Experts from India, but we have also considered the WHO guidelines concerning priority groups," he said.
Covishield of Serum Institute and Covaxin of Bharat Biotech is currently approved for use in restricted emergencies in India.
Responding to a question from the National Congress Party, Representative Supria Sule, on whether the government aims to universal immunization the COVID-19 vaccine, Vardan said that it is not scientifically necessary to manage the vaccine to everyone in the country.
"Not everyone in the world will be vaccinated. Prioritization is a dynamic process.
"The behavior of the virus is also dynamic. Everything is based on scientific facts, scrutiny, and knowledge for the scientific and health community in general," he said.
The minister said Under the current global immunization program in India, free vaccines are provided against 12 vaccine-preventable diseases, such as diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Polio, Measles, Rubella, the acute form of childhood Tuberculosis, Hepatitis B, and Meningitis, from Among other things.
Vardan further specified that there is a well-defined expert group called the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration (NEGVAC).
The minister also suggested that the committee of experts in the field had approved two Indian vaccines (Covishield and Covaxin) after examining the data provided by these companies.
He added that the data provided by two Indian companies were examined by the World Health Organization.
Vardan also informed the House of Representatives that India will soon launch several COVID-19 vaccines after the pre-trial phases and clinical trials.
"There is no single standard method to make vaccines ... Indian vaccines meet criteria for safety, efficacy, and immunity," he said.
In accordance with NEGVAC recommendations, as of March 1, vaccination of people aged 60 years and over and 45 to 59 years with 20 specific comorbidities began in the country.
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