The chief of the country’s premier medical institute Dr. Guleria was administered with the first jab of the COVID-19 vaccine on January 16, a day the biggest vaccination drive was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, against coronavirus disease.
“Vaccine will be available in the open market only when prime targets — people to be vaccinated — are covered. And there has to be equivalence in supply and demand. Hopefully, there would be such a situation by year-end or before that. Then, there may be a likelihood of vaccine to come to the open market,” Guleria told ANI here.
Sharing his experience of his past 28 days (a time duration for the second dose), Dr. Guleria said: “Today I took the second dose of Covaxin vaccine and I haven’t found any side effect from the first dose. I didn’t face any difficulty. I would urge people not to fear the vaccine and it is totally safe. People should come out and take the vaccine. This is essential if we want to come out of the pandemic.” He highlighted that pandemic is still not over and India is in a good position but people should not have vaccine hesitancy and get inoculated.
“Right now our situation is fine and many might believe that in India pandemic case is less but I would say this is our window of opportunity to get the vaccine as the pandemic is still not over and the situation can change anytime. As we have seen in Brazil, Europe, South Africa and the United Kingdom lockdown has been imposed again as the case spiked. We should maintain the present situation in the country as it is necessary,” the AIIMS director added.
Talking about vaccine hesitancy among the people, Dr. Guleria said many have been vaccinated and data also reflects that these vaccines are safe.
“Vaccine hesitancy is understandable as people could have some doubts whether the vaccine is safe or not but so many days have passed and many have got the jab. There are data, which suggest that vaccine is safe so hesitancy should be avoided,” he added.