All Adults Can Be Vaccinated By December-End: Expert Panel Head To NDTV

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Over the last 7 days, there has been an average shortfall of 4.7 million jabs. (File)

New Delhi:

The entire adult population in India will be vaccinated against Covid by December, Dr NK Arora, who heads the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration, said on Thursday, expressing confidence that the government will be able to meet its target. This, he said, is based on the boost in vaccine supply expected over the coming months. But states also have to uphold their end by increasing the number of vaccine administration centres.

“There has been a gradual increase in the availability of vaccines,” Dr Arora told NDTV in an exclusive interview.

Explaining the graph, he said, “In June and July, there has been an increase. The country got 5.6 crore doses a month till May, now it is getting 10 to 12 crore doses and next month it should be nearing 16 to 18 crores. From September, we should be having 30 crore plus doses”.

But setting up of vaccine centres will be as big a challenge as the acquisition of vaccines – one that will be will be part of the states’ responsibility.

The aim is to have 75 to 100 thousand immunisation centres across the country in the government sector but states are currently running short and need to step up as the supply increases, he said.

Over the last three days, the country recorded a spike in the number of Covid cases after a lull of 56 days. The spike has been recorded in an increasing number of states and Union Territories have been recording a spike. As of July 8, eight to 11 states and Union Territories registered a rise.

On the other hand, there has been a drop in vaccination rates, increasing the number of daily average required to meet the December target.

Over the last 7 days, there has been an average shortfall of 4.7 million jabs, pushing up the required vaccination rate needed to stop a third wave to 8.7 million jabs a day.

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Last month, Dr Randeep Guleria, chief of Delhi’s All-India Institute of Medical Sciences and a member of the Centre’s Covid Task Force, said a third wave of Covid is “inevitable” and it may hit in another six to eight weeks.

Concern about a third wave has increased over the last week, with images of huge crowds in Himachal Pradesh as a heat wave gripped north India.

Referring to the crowds at a meeting this evening with his new council of ministers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it should instil a sense of fear in us, sources have said.

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