India Will Vaccinate All By December 2021, Says Union Minister


New Delhi:

India will be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of 2021, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar declared Friday afternoon, as the centre lashed out at Congress MP Rahul Gandhi for pointing out that less than three per cent of the country’s 130 crore had received both shots so far.

Mr Javadekar also deflected criticism by telling Rahul Gandhi to “pay attention to Congress-ruled states…there is a mess in vaccination”, and accusing non-BJP governments, which have red-flagged low vaccine stocks, of “not taking the quota for 18-44 age group given to them from May 1”.

“India’s vaccination will be completed before 2021. If Rahulji was concerned about the vaccine, then he should pay attention to Congress ruled states… there is a mess in vaccination. They are not taking the quota given to them for 18-44 year old beneficiaries from May 1,” Mr Javadekar said.

Mr Javadekar also countered the opposition leader’s criticism of the centre’s Covid management efforts by referring to the “Congress toolkit” – an online document several BJP leaders claim is designed to discredit Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government.

Hours earlier Mr Gandhi held Prime Minister Modi responsible for the second wave of infections and deaths, and said he “did not understand Covid at all”.

Vaccines were the only permanent solution to Covid and lockdowns, social distancing and masks were temporary ones, Mr Gandhi said, stressing that without a proper vaccination strategy, India would witness multiple waves of infection.

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