Harsh Vardhan said that between August and December 2021, India will have procured 216 crore vaccine doses

India will be in a position to vaccinate at least all of its adult population by the end of 2021, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on May 21. During a meeting on the COVID-19 situation with representatives of nine states and union territories, Vardhan said that between August and December 2021, India will have procured 216 crore vaccine doses, while by July this year, 51 crore doses will be procured.

The minister also said that daily recoveries have outnumbered the daily new COVID-19 cases for the last eight days consistently. “India is observing less than 3 lakh cases from the last five days,” he said, adding that in the last 24 hours, India conducted the highest ever 20,61,683 tests with the cumulative tests being over 3,30,00,000.

According to a statement from the health ministry, Vardhan also touched upon the speculation that the virus might mutate in future and endanger children, and said that the health facilities are being upgraded to deal with any such exigency.

He also cautioned against the emerging trend in the country. He highlighted that now the smaller states are showing an upward trend and there is a dire need to be extremely cautious, the statement said.

He asked the states to follow the basic principles of COVID-19-appropriate behaviour along with testing, tracking, tracing, treating and now vaccinating to fight against the pandemic.

He emphasised the need to step up vaccination and reiterated the need to dedicate 70 percent of vaccines provided by the central government for the second dose. He also requested the states and UTs to be vigilant against the wastage of jabs, the statement said.