Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Sunday asserted that India has been working fast to increase the production of COVID-19 vaccines and said each citizen of the country will be inoculated by December. He also attacked the opposition, saying it has been trying to politicise matters related to the vaccination drive against the coronavirus.
"We have been constantly working on increasing the production and availability of vaccines, and will have each Indian vaccinated by December, which will be a huge record," Shekhawat said. He added that this will all happen on account of the country's own endeavours.
"It is for the first time in history that India developed its own vaccines for any virus parallel to the rest of the world. Earlier, it took years for vaccines of any virus to reach India," he told a press conference here.
Shekhawat said that the opposition did their best to politicise the vaccination drive through "malicious" narratives questioning quality and authenticity of vaccines developed in India.
"They acted with their vested political interests and blemished the image of the country. But now the same persons have been queuing up for a vaccine shot," the Union minister for Jal Shakti said and added that the opposition should apologise.
Referring to medicines like remdesivir, used in Covid treatment, and amphotericin-B for black fungus treatment, Shekhawat said the country has already reached a surplus state with production of 1.5 crore vials of remdesivir per month and efforts are on to meet the growing requirement of amphotericine vials now.
"We are sourcing (amphotericine) vials from foreign countries. Three lakh vials have already reached and three lakh more are expected to come in the next three days," he said.
Six companies have been producing amphotericine vials in the country and five more companies have been given permission, the minister said "Considering a 30 days gestation period of the (amphotericine) vial before it is finally ready for administration, we will have adequate vials after 30 days,” he said.
Shekhawat also stressed on the need for strengthening medical and health infrastructure in rural areas.
“We need to strengthen our Community Health Centers (CHC) in villages. We will have to work to improve infrastructure at CHCs and ensure the presence of doctors there”, he said.
He said that 30 such centers will be upgraded in the next three months at a cost of Rs 15 crore.