Dr. Paul says nothing to be alarmed about mix-up of vaccination in U.P.
There is absolutely no need to do antibody testing after the completion of COVID-19 vaccination, according to Dr. VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog.
At a Union Health Ministry press conference on Thursday, he explained that antibody levels were only one of the indications of immunity. “The advisable procedure to follow is to get vaccinated and adhere to COVID-19 appropriate behaviour,”’ he said.
When asked about an alleged recent mix-up of vaccination to at least 20 persons in Uttar Pradesh, he said, “There is nothing to be alarmed about. While this isn’t advisable and we urge medical staff to be careful while administering the vaccines, there is no cause for worry. The matter, however, needs to be investigated.’’
The Union government was in talks with various vaccine manufacturers, he asserted and confirmed that Pfizer had asked for vaccine indemnity. “A decision on this will be taken keeping in mind the larger good of the people. We are looking into Pfizer starting supply by July,’’ he said.
Decline in new cases
Lav Aggarwal, joint secretary, Health Ministry, said the country was registering a decline in new cases for the past 20 days. Twenty-four States have registered a decline in active cases and overall recoveries were exceeding daily cases. “A total of 20.26 crore vaccination doses have been given so far,’ he pointed out.
Responding to a question on States stating that vaccination wastage figures have been exaggerated in some cases, he said the figures were collected and updated by the States themselves and that the Centre periodically reviewed this along with the States.
The Health Ministry on Thursday said all citizens who are 60 years and over with no vaccination or first dose, along with all citizens below 60 years with disabilities, are eligible for vaccination at Near to Home COVID Vaccination Centres (NHCVC).
“NHCVC for Elderly and Differently-abled citizens would follow a community-based, flexible and people-centric approach, bringing the COVID vaccination centres nearer to homes,’’ the Ministry stated.
Sessions could be conducted in non-health facility based settings nearer to home, e.g. in a community centre, RWA centre/office, panchayat ghar, school buildings, old-age homes etc, it said.
The move was aimed to ensure vaccination of senior citizens and differently-abled population having limited mobility due to their physical condition. “The recommendations are in response to the need to increase access by bringing vaccination services closer to the community while maintaining all necessary precautions and safety measures, as per the Operational Guidelines and Advisories issued from time to time,’’ noted the Ministry.