The opposition’s continuous rant over Covid-19 vaccination drive in the country had figured during the Union Cabinet meeting held on Tuesday, sources said, adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked Health Minister Harsh Vardhan to counter opposition parties’ narratives with facts.
“It is important to counter opposition’s wrong narrative and spreading of rumours with facts and scientific data,” he told Vardhan, according to sources.
Vardhan told ministers that the views of all states are taken into consideration and they are directly involved in decisions. During the meetings, all the states are aware of the ground reality, but “some from the opposition parties’ governments are doing politics”.
The Modi government is facing severe flak from the opposition parties over its alleged mismanagement over the Covid-19 vaccination drive in the country. Several states have reported an acute shortage of doses and expressed inability to rollout vaccination programme for 18-44 age group at full pace. The vaccination drive for the 18-44 category started on May 1, but states have alleged that the pace is very slow and they have to close the centres due to non availability of drugs.
Several Congress leaders including Rahul Gandhi Priyanka Vadra have accused the government of colossal mismanagement in the war against Covid, a charge refuted by the government.
India has been using three vaccines – the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab (locally known as Covishield), Covaxin and Sputnik V. While Covishield and Covaxin are being used since January 16, the day the vaccination programme was launched, Sputnik V was granted emergency use nod recently. Pune-based Serum Institue of India is manufacturing Covishield whereas Hyderabad’s Bharat Biotech is making Covaxin. Sputnik V doses have been imporetd from Russia.