Government allows 24x7 COVID vaccination

The government on Wednesday said it has permitted round-the-clock COVID-19 vaccination as part of efforts to speed-up the immunisation drive which received a fresh boost with the makers of the indigenous Covaxin saying it has shown an interim efficacy of 81 percent in Phase 3 clinical trials.

Easing restrictions, all private hospitals were on Tuesday allowed to give the vaccines if they adhere to the laid down norms, while the 9 AM to 5 PM timing was also done away with. More than 1.56 crore (1,56,20,749) vaccine doses have been administered in the country through 3,12,188 sessions since January 16, according to a provisional report till Wednesday 7 AM.

“The government has lifted the time restriction to increase the speed of vaccination. People can now get vaccinated 24×7 according to their convenience. Prime Minister Narendra Modi understands the value of health as well as the time of citizens,” Health Minister Harsh Vardhan tweeted in Hindi, a day after he got his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Indian Council of Medical Research, the country’s apex research body, and Bharat Biotech announced that phase 3 results of Covaxin, developed by them, has shown an interim vaccine efficacy of 81 per cent in preventing COVID-19, and dubbed it as an important milestone in vaccine discovery.

“The bench-to-bedside journey of completely indigenous COVID-19 vaccine in less than eight months’ time showcases the immense strength of Atmanirbhar Bharat [self-reliant India] to fight the odds and stand tall in the global public health community. “It is also a testament to India’s emergence as a global vaccine superpower,” said Dr Balram Bhargava, Director General, ICMR, said on Wednesday.