Amid the COVID-19 vaccination drive, the Union Health Ministry today rejected requests of two Chief Ministers seeking relaxation over age limit for the vaccine. Refusing the request it said it is not the time to reduce focus on the pandemic.
Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary, said, "The approach is that those vulnerable to mortality need to be covered soonest. The aim to protect the most vulnerable. The aim is never to vaccinate whoever wants, but always on whoever needs."
A few days back, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal are among those who have called for opening up vaccination to more age groups.
Niti Aayog Memmber-Health, VK Paul questioned, "When we talk about opening vaccination to all, our focus reduces on controlling the pandemic. Did you hear any country that is vaccinating less than 45."
"We have to focus on Covid-appropriate behaviour and containment measures. When the time comes to open it to all, then we will," he said further.
The officers referred to guidelines in countries like America, Australia and UK for phase-wise vaccination. "UK had 9 different groups in its phases. Switzerland is vaccinating only those above 65," Dr Paul said, adding, "When our history is written our deaths will be the most important count."
While, the centre today advised employees aged 45 and above to get vaccinated against the coronavirus to check the spurt in daily Covid figures across the country.
"All Central Government employees of the age of 45 years and above are advised to get themselves vaccinated, so as to effectively contain the spread of COVID-19," the government said in a statement.
India, the second worst-hit country in the world, crossed over one lakh daily coronavirus cases for the first time on Monday. Today, it reported 96,982 cases and 442 deaths.