New Delhi. The country may have achieved the achievement of one billion Covid vaccines, but the road ahead is no less difficult. Vaccine availability and production capacity are no longer an issue, but large populations are yet to receive a second dose of the vaccine, as well as the approval and immunization of the vaccine for children. Children and adolescents below the age of 18 years are yet to be given Covid in the country and Bharat Biotech, the manufacturer of the Indian Covid vaccine ‘Covaxin’, has developed the vaccine and submitted it to the Drug Controller General of India for approval.
According to an estimate, the population of the country below the age of 18 years is about 44 crores. However, Covaxin has not yet been approved by the World Health Organization (WTO) for persons over the age of eighteen. The WTO said the approval process is time-consuming and cannot be relaxed.
Misunderstandings, rumors and superstitions are also a major obstacle in the society regarding the Covid vaccine. There is a superstition about the vaccine among the tribal population of the country. Awareness campaigns about the Covid vaccine are being run in tribal-dominated states like Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. For this the help of community leaders is being taken. The government has also launched a special campaign in these areas. Pregnant women, sick people and differently-abled also have hesitation about the Covid vaccine. Doctors, however, say that the Covid vaccine should be taken under the advice and supervision of doctors. A section of the society is also linking Covid vaccines to affecting fertility. Dealing with this will be a tough challenge for the government. Indian vaccines ‘Covishield’ and ‘Covaxin’ are also facing challenges at the international level. Although ‘Covishield’ has been included in the list of emergency vaccines by the World Health Organization, some countries are reluctant to recognize vaccines manufactured in India. For this, the government has adopted the policy of ‘Tit to Tat’. The government is entering into agreements with different countries to recognize Indian vaccines.
Economic activities have intensified all over the world including India, but despite the expansion of vaccination in many major countries including New Zealand, Russia, China, Brazil, Covid infection has increased again. Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has expressed confidence that vaccination of all citizens of the country will be ensured. He said on Twitter that the pace at which this campaign is progressing, it is clear that soon all the countrymen will be vaccinated.