India’s Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has appealed to the medical community and frontline workers to come forward and take the Covid vaccines. A large number of healthcare and frontline workers have not come for vaccination, belying expectations of the government. This has raised concern and the minister himself has reiterated his request for getting the vaccines.
It may be noted that this is not the first time that the minister has appealed for vaccination. Reportedly, still there are misconceptions and misinformation which are being spread about the vaccines. This has resulted in low numbers of healthcare and frontline workers turning up for the vaccination. As on February 19, 2021, a total of 10715204 healthcare and frontline workers have been vaccinated. The massive vaccination program was launched on January 16, 2021.
Dr Vardhan has said that the Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing vaccination drive is unfortunately affected by misinformation, rumours and negative messages.
“Factually incorrect information like infertility due to the vaccine, adverse effects if alcohol is consumed after vaccination etc., have come up quite prominently as few misconceptions, which need to be countered and nipped in the bud. As more than one crore doses have been administered successfully and safely, it is a testimony in itself to the safety of the vaccines. Let us not fall prey to these rumours,” said the minister.
Dr Vardhan has appealed to all the doctors, nurses, paramedical workers, and the frontline workers like the Anganwadi workers, police personnel and revenue officials for vaccination.
“I humbly and strongly appeal to all healthcare and frontline workers to come forward to take the vaccine. Let us all work together to fight against Covid-19. The world is not free of the disease. It is only with our collective effort that we shall overcome this public health challenge,” he said.
“The two Covid vaccines (Covishield and Covaxin) approved by the country’s Drugs Controller have been tested and certified for their safety and immunogenicity and are completely safe,” he asserted.
“Only 40 cases of hospitalizations from Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) till date have been reported which comprises only 0.0004% of total vaccinations. Till now, there have been no serious/severe AEFI and no death has been attributed to the vaccines. The 32 deaths reported till date is a mere 0.0003% of total vaccinations with post-mortem reports vindicating that these are not related to vaccination,” explained the minister.