Srinagar: The COVID-19 vaccination drive hasn’t begun yet but the politics around it has already started. Hours after the Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav said that he won’t get vaccinated as he can’t trust the BJP’s vaccine, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah made a statement that he will happily roll up his sleeve to get a coronavirus vaccine.
“I don’t know about anyone else but when my turn comes I’ll happily roll up my sleeve & get a COVID vaccine. This damn virus has been far too disruptive & if a vaccine helps bring about a semblance of normalcy after all the chaos then sign me up,” tweeted Omar Abdullah.
He added, “The more people that get vaccinated the better it will be for the country & the economy.”
Making further comments, the National Conference vice president stated, “No vaccine belongs to any political party, they belong to humanity & the sooner we get vulnerable people vaccinated the better.”
The more people that get vaccinated the better it will be for the country & the economy. No vaccine belongs to any political party, they belong to humanity & the sooner we get vulnerable people vaccinated the better.
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) January 2, 2021
Earlier in the day, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav had said, “I am not going to get vaccinated for now. How can I trust BJP’s vaccine, when our government will be formed everyone will get free vaccine. We cannot take BJP’s vaccine.”
The comments come on a day when the COVID-19 vaccination dry run was conducted by all the States and UT governments, with the objective to gear up for the roll-out of coronavirus vaccine across the country.
Notably, a dry run is essentially a practice session where a sample number of beneficiaries will go through a mock immunisation process.
Apart from the staff of the designated COVID-19 vaccination centres, the dry run will see the participation of a select group of health care workers as test vaccine beneficiaries. Each centre will identify 25 test beneficiaries for the dry run.
According to the Union Health Ministry, the objective of the dry run for COVID-19 vaccine introduction is to ‘assess operational feasibility in the use of COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network (Co-WIN) application in a field environment, to test the linkages between planning and implementation and to identify the challenges and guide the way forward prior to actual implementation’.
The Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan also said on Saturday that in the first phase of COVID-19 free vaccine shall be provided across the nation to most prioritised beneficiaries.
In 1st phase of #COVID19Vaccination free #vaccine shall be provided across the nation to most prioritised beneficiaries that incl 1 crore healthcare & 2 crore frontline workers
Details of how further 27 cr priority beneficiaries are to be vaccinated until July are being finalised pic.twitter.com/K7NrzGrgk3
— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) January 2, 2021
Meanwhile, India’s active coronavirus cases have increased to 2,50,183, whereas, close to 1.5 lakh people have succumbed to the virus. Almost 1 crore people have recovered from the virus that was first reported in India in January 2020.