India to procure up to 500 million vaccine doses by July

New Delhi: Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said on Thursday that India is in talks with the vaccine companies for the procurement of 400 to 500 million doses till July next year.

Speaking at an event on ‘Shifting Healthcare Paradigm During and Post-Covid’, the Health Minister stressed the importance of following safety protocols, and said that vaccine distribution will be rolled out with a scientific and systematic approach.

Harsh Vardhan said, “Priority will be given on medical grounds. We are a country of 135 crore people, and it’s not possible to procure vaccines for such a large population at one go. By July-August 2021, we will have 400-500 million dosages available.”

The Health Minister also shared his vision on introducing universal healthcare in India, the government’s success in coming closer to bridging the rural-urban gap in healthcare infrastructure and services, as well as on the programs in place to eradicate tuberculosis and measles.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has brought the world to a halt and simultaneously introduced a ‘new normal’. It has impacted all sections of society to varying degrees and pushed us to come up with innovative methods to cope with it. Women have been majorly impacted by the pandemic, and are at greater risk of mental stress and anxiety. Issues surrounding pre and postnatal care, increasing complexities of domestic violence, and availability and awareness of sanitary provisions are issues that have witnessed greater duress during the pandemic. Thus it is critical to address the emergency response policies through a gender lens to improve planning and programming,” he said.

The Health Minister also said that in the last six years, healthcare has been given prime importance under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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