Aim Is To Give COVID-19 Vaccine To Those Who Need It Not Those Who Want It, Says Centre On Vaccination For All

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New Delhi: Even as states are urging the central government to lower the age limit for COVID-19 vaccination to enable more people to get inoculated, the Union Health Ministry on Tuesday said the aim for vaccination is to cover people who need the vaccine, not those who want it.

“Many people ask why should not we allow vaccination for all. There are two aims of such vaccination drives – to prevent deaths and protect the healthcare system. The aim is not to administer the vaccine to those who want it, but to those who need it,” said Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan addressing a press conference on the prevailing COVID-19 situation in India.

The chief ministers of Delhi and Maharashtra have been urging the central government to remove the age limit on COVID-19 vaccination and allow states to vaccinate people of all age groups. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal claimed his government can vaccinate all people within three months if the Centre relaxes its rules.

Meanwhile, Dr. VK Paul, member Niti Aayog (health), said guidelines of the World Health Organisation (WHO) on vaccination say the top priority should be to reduce deaths and save lives.

“Vaccine is being given to reducing mortality and severity. So worldwide, the focus is to target vulnerable sections first, and ensure their complete vaccination,” he said, adding that there is no need to “trivialise” the issue and instead focus on following Covid-appropriate behaviour and increasing testing.

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