India’s Vaccination Drive ‘Prejudged to Be Failure’ But Nation Proved Critics Wrong: Health Minister

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Edited By: Pathikrit Sen Gupta

Last Updated: January 06, 2023, 07:30 IST

Mandaviya has written that what worked was the unflinching trust of 1.4 billion Indians in the leadership of PM Narendra Modi. (Representational pic/PTI)

Mandaviya has written that what labored was the unflinching belief of 1.Four billion Indians within the management of PM Narendra Modi. (Representational pic/PTI)

Mansukh Mandaviya has written this within the foreword of a soon-to-be-released e-book on India’s vaccination programme, ‘Braving a Viral Storm, India’s Covid-19 Vaccine Story’

India’s capability to run a nationwide vaccination marketing campaign towards Covid-19 was “questioned, lampooned and prejudged to be a failure” however India proved its critics incorrect, union well being minister Mansukh Mandaviya has written within the foreword of a soon-to-be-released e-book on the inoculation drive.

The e-book, ‘Braving a Viral Storm, India’s Covid-19 Vaccine Story’ is written by Aashish Chandorkar and Suraj Sudhir and is being revealed by Rupa Publications. Mandaviya has written the foreword for the e-book whereas the CEO of Serum Institute of India, Adar Poonawalla, has written the afterword.

“There were suggestions that India may take 10 years to vaccinate its entire population. It was not just the Indian government but also the Indians who were subjected to veiled ridicule, assuming they will not understand the importance of vaccination,” Mandaviya has talked about in regards to the early days of the Covid pandemic in 2020.

He writes that India proved its critics incorrect and over 90 per cent of adults have been totally vaccinated. “We have seen countries around the world struggle and fight for their requirement of Covid-19 Vaccines. Several global leaders have had to plead with private pharmaceutical companies to give them vaccines, often in lieu of accepting ignominious terms and conditions. India, on the other hand, has not just fought the virus successfully, it has done so with its head held high,” the well being minister has written.

‘PM’s imaginative and prescient and conviction’

Mandaviya has written that what labored was the unflinching belief of 1.Four billion Indians within the management of PM Narendra Modi. “The leadership demonstrated by the PM in steering India through the course of Covid-19 pandemic has been exemplary. His vision for India to invest time, effort and financial resources early on in potential vaccine candidates paid off,” Mandaviya writes.

“It was the vision and conviction he put in India’s scientific and research talent which ensured that India became atmanirbhar (self-reliant) when it came to ensuring vaccine availability, access and affordability in the country,” the well being minister writes, stressing on this ‘Triple A Rating’ as a matter of immense satisfaction and delight for India.

Nothing wanting a surprise: Adar Poonawalla

Serum Institute of India performed a serious half in India’s Covid-19 vaccination journey with its vaccine, Covishield. “Let us not forget for a minute that what we achieved on the vaccination front was nothing short of a wonder. A country with such a large population and with so many variations across states could still achieve more than 2 billion doses in a planned and organised manner,” Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawalla has written within the afterword of the e-book.

He recounts that in hindsight this may increasingly sound straightforward however at first of the pandemic, “very few people would have given India a shot at such staggeringly high quality of self-reliant execution.”

“India showed the world that a country can overcome stiff challenges when its scientific minds and medical professionals come together with the right policy support from the government. India has never been short of ideas and ingenuity. When this spirit of exploration and risk-taking meets the right operating environment, India can do wonders,” Poonawalla writes.

He says that Serum might get USFDA approval for a brand new vaccine, a feat no Indian firm has ever achieved in vaccines. “This step opens the door for the industry and no country can look at India as an inferior player,” Poonawalla writes. He says Serum now has an over 4-billion dose capability and the full Indian capability of doses could also be round 7 to eight billion doses.

“As the pandemic recedes, the available capacity can be deployed in the future as per the evolving requirements,” Poonawalla writes, including that SII can now deal with a number of applied sciences like messenger RNA. He has additionally praised PM Modi’s management.

Economist Sanjeev Sanyal, in his message for the e-book, has commented that “India did it in its personal manner typically shunning the recommendation of ‘experts’ in coping with Covid-19 which was the most important medical and socio-economic shock because the Second World War”.

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