Ex-ICMR DG Applauds Government's "Deliberate" Demand for Free Covid Jabs as a "Force to Deal With in Near Future"

Ex-ICMR DG Applauds Government's "Deliberate" Demand for Free Covid Jabs as a "Force to Deal With in Near Future"

In contrast to other nations where vaccinations were sold at expensive costs, the Narendra Modi administration decided to provide free Covid-19 vaccines to everyone in India, according to Dr. Balram Bhargava, a former director general of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

When questioned about US vaccine firm Moderna's high prices for distributing Covid-19 vaccinations, he responded, "The problem of the pricing of vaccines in India was a deliberate endeavor of the government to be able to offer this vaccine free of cost to every person.

Bhargava, who was once the secretary of the Department of Health Research, said that the government of India has previously provided vaccinations without charge. "Traditionally, India has provided free kid vaccinations for many years. In order to be able to provide these vaccines at no cost to all of our citizens, the government made a deliberate decision, according to Bhargava, who was speaking in an interview for History TV18's documentary on India's Covid-19 vaccination drive, "The Vial - India's Vaccine Story," which aired at 8 p.m. on Friday.

In India, a robust nationwide immunization program has been in place for more than 60 years, with more than 28,000 vaccination facilities. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations are two organizations that India exports the most pediatric immunizations to (UN).

Cardiologist and medical pioneer Bhargava said that while the globe was fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, India was in the front among both wealthy and developing nations in terms of organizing an effective vaccine program.

He cited "the whole attitude of the government, the entire approach of society, and active engagement from civil society, political leaders, and community leaders" as the causes. The involvement of the government was crucial.

He gave the senior leadership, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, credit for conveying the proper message to the Indian people.

"The leadership role was outstanding and very important in tackling vaccination uptake as well as vaccine hesitancy. It (the effect of appropriate message) amply illustrated how our populace did not exhibit any resistance or reluctance to get vaccinations, the doctor stated.

Government efforts on the ground, in addition to messaging, played a significant part in demonstrating support for pharmaceutical firms.

"These enterprises received a tremendous amount of help. Beginning with the conceptualization of the vaccine development stage, assistance with clinical trials, facilitation of vaccination testing in small or large animals, and facilitation of approvals. Likewise, making advance purchase orders was a huge assistance.

He responded when questioned why the vaccines produced in China had not shown effectiveness among the country's populace that they had adopted the "Zero Covid Policy" and adhered to it with extensive lockdowns.

This was a crucial factor in the failure of the vaccinations to produce hybrid immunity in the population.

Yet, he said that India lacked such a policy. He said that because of our vaccinations, a hybrid immunity had formed.

Bhargava said, "The tale of the development of the Covid-19 vaccine is a classic example where Public-Private Partnership proved that India can become self-sufficient in vaccine production... and various other challenging circumstances... This kind of paradigm ought to be applied to other industries, and it is already being used, to help India become a fully developed and independent nation.

He said that the problem of the pharmaceutical industry's reliance on China for raw materials has been debated for a number of years. The administration made sure that the nation would become independent in the manufacturing of raw materials and APIs (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients, often known as bulk pharmaceuticals), so that we wouldn't be dependent on China, the West, or any other nation.

It won't happen immediately, but it is occurring gradually, and the government is playing a significant part in making it happen, according to Bhargava.

According to him, India is seen by the rest of the world as being close to becoming a significant developed democracy.

"With its established self-sufficiency in the vaccine business and exports of vaccinations to several countries across the globe, it is the biggest democracy in the world and is now close to becoming a developed economy. India has shown that it will soon be a powerful force to be reckoned with.

About the documentary, he said it was an essential piece of work that highlighted vital facets of vaccine research, administration, and uptake in the nation. Everyone should see it, and Indian folks should be proud of themselves.