Friday , September 24 2021

Vice President urges medical fraternity to educate people on the safety of COVID-19 vaccine to make it a people’s movement

The Vice President, M Venkaiah Naidu today urged the medical fraternity in general and the Indian Medical Association, in particular, to take up special awareness campaigns to educate the people about the safety and importance of getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

Inaugurating ‘Vaccinate India Programme’, an initiative of Sustainable Goals Coordination Center, Government of Karnataka in collaboration with Give India Foundation, the Vice President said, there appears to be hesitancy in some quarters to get vaccinated. It is absolutely essential to educate and create awareness among those who are still harboring doubts, he added.

Calling for turning COVID vaccination drive into a ‘Jan-Andolan’, Naidu exhorted all people’s representatives to ensure that everyone is vaccinated in their constituencies. He also urged the media to educate people on the need to shed vaccine hesitancy. “False beliefs need to be dispelled by providing accurate information,” he stressed.

Observing that vaccination is the most effective shield against COVID-19, the Vice President said that it would help in preventing hospitalization and lessen the severity of the disease. “In other words, even if infected by the virus, the disease will be mild”, he added.

Noting that COVID recovery rate in the country has reached 97.6 percent, he cautioned “we are still not totally out of the woods and there is every need for each one of us to continue with all Covid-related protocols and precautions”.

Emphasising that the fight against Coronavirus cannot be won without people’s cooperation, Naidu appealed to everyone to wear mask, wash hands frequently, observe safe distancing and lead a disciplined and healthy lifestyle. He asked the youngsters to avoid junk food and eat properly cooked traditional Indian food which is more suited to our bodily and climatic conditions.

The Vice President said the pandemic has brought into sharp focus the need to fill the gaps in our health infrastructure from urban centers to rural hinterlands on a priority. Stressing the need to bestow special attention on backward and remote areas in this regard, he urged the private sector to join hands with the government to give a major boost to the health infrastructure.

Pointing out that even the most advanced nations with modern and better medical facilities could not effectively cope with the magnitude of the crisis created by COVID-19, the Vice President said that concerted action by the Government of India, all the State Governments and Union Territories has enabled the country to contain COVID-19 in a fairly satisfactory manner.

Lauding the Government of India and all the States for working collectively to inoculate more and more people against COVID-19, he expressed his happiness that so far 58 crore vaccine doses have been administered in the country.

He also complimented the Give India Foundation for supplementing the efforts of the government.

The Governor of Karnataka, Thawarchand Gehlot, Chief Minister of Karnataka, Basavaraj Bommai, Karnataka Ministers, Dr. K. Sudhakar and Munirathna, Member of Parliament, PC Mohan, Additional Chief Secretary, Dr. Shalini Rajneesh and Give India Foundation’s Founder, Atul Satija were among those present on the occasion.

Following is the full text of speech –

“I am pleased to launch the ‘Vaccinate India Programme’, an initiative of Department of Planning, Government of Karnataka in collaboration with Give India Foundation, which has been enabling individuals and organizations to raise and donate funds for different causes with the aim to alleviate poverty in the country.

As you all are aware, concerted action by the Government of India, all the State Governments and Union Territories as also various stakeholders, especially the healthcare personnel and scientists, has enabled the country to contain COVID-19 in a fairly satisfactory manner. Unfortunately, the pandemic has claimed more than 4.3 lakh lives so far, even as all out efforts are being made to ramp our health infrastructure, which was stretched to its limits during the crisis.

Ever since it broke out, the pandemic shook the entire world. Even the most advanced nations with more modern and better medical facilities could not effectively cope with the magnitude of the crisis. It has severely impacted economies, lives and livelihoods globally.

Taking the required doses of vaccine, wearing masks, maintaining safe physical distance, frequently washing hands and observing personal hygiene have become imperative for all of us, even as we move forward to fight the pandemic with greater resolve.

In a truly Team India spirit, the Government of India and all the States have been working collectively to inoculate more and more people against COVID-19. I am happy to note that so far 58 crore vaccine doses have been administered and 13 crore people have been fully vaccinated in the country.I am pleased to note that organizations like ‘GiveIndia’ are supplementing the efforts of the government.

While the number of inoculations done so far is quite commendable, we need to step up the pace of vaccination, widen the net and ensure access to everyone. I am happy to learn that vaccines for children are in the pipeline. With a large population of adults taking the first of the two doses, we are definitely better placed in tackling COVID-19 now.

Dear sisters and brothers,

It is now clear that vaccination is the most effective shield against COVID-19. While it may not fullyprotect a person from getting infected, vaccination will definitely help in preventing hospitalization and lessen the severity of the disease. In other words, even if infected by the virus, the disease will be mild.

It should be remembered that Coronavirus pandemic created an unprecedented situation on every front. We are still not totally out of the woods and there is every need for each one of us to continue with all Covid-related protocols and precautions.

It is a huge relief that the recovery rate in the country has reached 97.6 % and the number of infections and deaths has substantially declined when compared to the situation a few months ago. But, there is absolutely no room for complacency. We cannot afford to lower our guard. Also, there appears to be hesitancy in some quarters to get vaccinated. It is absolutely essential to educate and create awareness about the safety and importance of getting vaccinated among those who are still harboring doubts. It should be remembered that universal vaccination and following Covid-appropriate behavior are crucial to effectively combating the pandemic.

I urge the medical fraternity in general and the Indian Medical Association, in particular, to take up special awareness campaigns in this regard. The media also needs to educate people about the safety of vaccines and the need to shed vaccine hesitancy. False beliefs need to be dispelled by providing accurate information.

As mentioned earlier, the pandemic has brought into sharp focus the need to fill the gaps in our health infrastructure from urban centers to rural hinterlands on a priority. Special attention needs to be bestowed on backward and remote areas in this regard. The private sector must join hands with the government to give a major boost to the health infrastructure.

I must congratulate our scientists, pharma companies, entrepreneurs, doctors, and regulatory authorities for fast-tracking the manufacture of vaccines, including the indigenous one, as also PPE kits, sanitizers, facial masks and other equipment in the true spirit of Atmanirbhar Bharat.

I would like to once again compliment ‘Give India’ for collaborating with various donors and partner organizations to facilitate administration of Covid-19 vaccines to the underprivileged sections of society.”

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