Govt Widened Jab Drive Disregarding Stock, WHO Norms: SII Exec Dir

He said that the WHO guidelines should have been followed and vaccination should have been prioritised accordingly.

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On Friday, 21 May, Executive Director of Serum Institute of India (SII) Suresh Jadhav said that the government started vaccinating people belonging to various age groups without considering the availability of vaccines and guidelines of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Amid a shortage of vaccines in the country, while speaking at an E-Summit by Heal Health, a health awareness platform, Jadhav said that the WHO guidelines should have been followed and vaccination should have been prioritised accordingly.

“Initially, 300 million people were to be administered the vaccine for which 600 million doses were required. But before we reached the target, the government opened vaccination for all above 45 years followed by those aged 18 and above despite knowing well that so much vaccine is not available,” Jadhav said, according to PTI.

‘Too Early to Say Which Vaccine is Efficacious’: SII Executive Director

He further emphasised that while vaccination is necessary, people are vulnerable to COVID-19 infection even after being vaccinated.

"Therefore, be cautious and follow COVID preventive guidelines. Although the double mutant of Indian variants are neutralised, yet variants can create problems in vaccination," PTI quoted him as saying.

Regarding selection of vaccine, he said that according to CDC and NIH data, any available vaccine that is licensed by the regulatory authority can be taken. “And it is too early to say which vaccine is efficacious and which is not,” he added.

India on Saturday, 22 May, reported 2,57,299 new coronavirus cases, 3,57,630 discharges, and 4,194 deaths, as per the Union Health Ministry. The total number of cases in the country now stands at 2,62,89,290, while the death toll is at 2,95,525. A total of 19,33,72,819 people have been vaccinated so far.

(With inputs from PTI)

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