Vaccines safe, show faith in your own products: VK Paul
New Delhi, Jan 16 (IANS) Allaying the fears associated with the Covid-19 vaccination drive, V.K. Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, emphasised on Saturday that people should accept the vaccines provided by the government and shed apprehensions associated with their safety standards.
Citing Covaxin, Paul, who heads a government panel on vaccine strategy, said that people should have faith in home-grown products and technology.
Paul was administered the first dose of Covaxin at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi on Saturday, the first day of the nationwide vaccination drive.
“I have taken the shot, it was Covaxin. I feel great, superb. I am relieved. India has reached a point where the final battle against Covid-19 can be fought with an additional and gamechanging tool, namely the vaccine,” Paul said while interacting with the media after taking the vaccine jab.
He insisted that the vaccine is a great tool to ensure that the Covid-19 pandemic is extinguished.
On scaling up 3,000 vaccine sites, Paul said: “It is only a matter of time. You want to begin in a short-footed way, so we are staring with 3,000 and in the next two weeks, the numbers will be raised to 5,000, then it will be raised in multiple of 5,000 in order to cover 30 crore people in seven to eight months.”
Paul added that this is just the beginning, and the real challenge will be to vaccinate people over 50 years of age, numbering more than 26 crore, to be covered within 5-6 months. “That will the real test of our resilience, capacity and capability. India will be able to do it smoothly using Indian products,” Paul said.
On the hype associated around the safety swtandards of the vaccines, Paul said that he has addressed the apprehensions associated with the vaccines by taking the Covaxin jab himself on the opening day of the vaccination drive.
“People should feel proud about the indegenous vaccines. The vaccines the government is providing should be accepted by the people, as they are for the people, society and the country,” added Paul.
Reacting to reports that some resident doctors at the RML Hospital in Delhi have refused to take the jab, Paul said that it is a very unfortunate incident.
“With folded hands, I request the doctors to have faith in the government. We must have faith in our institutions; we must have faith in our science and technology. Please embrace the vaccines, whichever is available,” said Paul.
He stressed that people should have faith in their own products, science, technology and also in the regulatory system and in the government.
Paul added that the safety of the two vaccines have been proven without doubt on thousands of individuals. “Today, two great vaccines are available. Whatever vaccine you’re allotted, please take it,” he urged the people.