Echoing other opposition parties, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi too batted for COVID-19 booster shots amid India recording 213 cases of the Omicron variant. Taking to Twitter on Wednesday, the Wayanad MP expressed concern over the novel coronavirus situation in India claiming that a majority of the country's population was yet to be vaccinated. Moreover, he questioned the Centre's delay in allowing the administration of a third dose of the vaccine to those fully inoculated against COVID-19. Ironically, the Wayanad MP raised this issue on a day when the Winter Session of Parliament concluded even he refrained from making this demand in Lok Sabha.
Speaking in the Lok Sabha on 10 December, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had clarified, "During the discussion on COVID itself, I said that we have two expert groups in the country. One is NEGVAC and the other is NTAGI. One group conducts research on the vaccine and gives its opinion. One group gives advice on when and how to do immunization. They are scientific groups. If we had to take a political decision, then we can do any kind of discussion. But we have faith in the scientists of this country. When our scientists tell us, we will take forward the policy."
At present, there are 78,190 active coronavirus cases in India whereas 3,42,01,966 patients have recovered and 4,78,325 deaths have been reported. The improvement in India's COVID-19 situation has been attributed to the rapid progress in vaccination. The country's vaccine drive against COVID-19 commenced on 16 January with healthcare workers getting inoculated in the first phase. This was opened up to frontline workers on 2 February while those aged above 60 and above 45 with co-morbidities became eligible for vaccination from 1 March.
While everyone aged above 45 could get vaccinated from 1 April, all adults were added to the vaccination coverage category on 1 May. In a huge achievement, India completed administering one crore coronavirus vaccine doses on 21 October. Apart from Covishield and Covaxin, the Drugs Controller General of India has approved Sputnik V, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine, and Zydus Cadila's ZyCoV-D. A total of 83,15,88,849 citizens have been inoculated whereas 55,85,05,800 of them have received the second dose of the vaccine too.