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Full vaccination remains top priority: ICMR

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on September 16, 2021

No earmarked quota on vaccinations for the private sector, says Health Secretary

Recent studies that showed a decrease in antibodies after two doses are but piecemeal, said Balram Bhargava, Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), adding that a full course of vaccination was the government’s priority.

Clarifying on a study done by a regional centre of the ICMR, he said: “Several agencies have recommended that antibody levels shouldn’t be measured because you have antibody, cellular immunity, antibody immunity. And that persists so, therefore, these are piecemeal studies, so several of them are available from different parts of the world, but the important understanding is that full vaccination of both the doses is absolutely essential, and there should be no breakage in that thinking,” said Bhargava at the routine Health Ministry interaction with the media.

Further, he added that booster doses were not the central theme at the moment in the scientific discussion as well as in the public health domain.

On vaccinations, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan clarified that there was no earmarked quota for the private sector, though there was an indicative percentage on how much the government would procure and what was available to the private sector.

“Which means if the private sector is either unable to procure or utilise the earmarked percentage, so whatever is the shortfall would also be procured by the government,” said Bhushan.

Oxygen-ready

On oxygen preparedness, Health Ministry officials said 3,631 PSA oxygen plants would be commissioned in the country and they would provide 4,571 MT of oxygen. From Central resources there would be 1,491 MT and 2,140 MT from the State and other resources. About 1,595 PSA plants have already been commissioned, they added.

Reviewing the country’s Covid-19 situation, Bhushan said there has been an overall decline in weekly positivity cases since May, and 66 districts reporting more than 5 per cent weekly positivity rate are still a cause of worry.

He also said that Kerala contributed 67.79 per cent to the total Covid cases in the country, though the overall situation had stabilised.

Vaccination

Till date, India has administered 57.86 crore of the first dose of the vaccine and 18.70 crore of the second dose.

As per the CoWIN dashboard, the country administered 59.84 crore vaccine doses on Thursday till 7:30 pm, taking it to a total of 77.16 crore of vaccinations administered so far.

Published on September 16, 2021

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