HYDERABAD: The Telangana government can vaccinate its entire population of four crore within 45 days, but the problem is the lack of availability of the Covid-19 vaccine. “We have the capacity to vaccinate more than nine lakh people per day. The problem is availability of vaccine which is the major challenge,” said KT Rama Rao, IT and Industries Minister and also Chairman of the State Level Task Force Committee on Covid-19.
Rama Rao accepted suggestions and answered questions of the Twitterati in an interactive session on Covid-19 on Thursday. The Minister opined that ideally, 70 per cent of the population should be vaccinated, to break the chain. “Of the 2.9 crore adult population, we need to vaccinate 1.9 crore people. Since it’s a two-dose vaccine, we need 3.8 crore doses. It’s a demand and supply challenge,” Rama Rao said.
According to the Minister, of the total 45-plus population of 92.24 lakh, so far 45.37 lakh people have been vaccinated with first dose. The second dose has been administered to more than 10.3 lakh people so far.
More vaccines for India?
On importing vaccines, Rama Rao said that “none of the US vaccines is currently allowed for use in India. I have heard from some sources that they may be allowed soon. When that happens, we can definitely procure.”
“Whatever is allowed by Drug Controller General of India is what we can procure. So far only three vaccines are available — Covaxin, Covishield and Sputnik. Hopefully Pfizer and Moderna will be allowed. By August, I am hearing that, another Indian vaccine may also be available from BE,” Rama Rao said. As clinical trials began for Covaxin on children also, Rama Rao said hopefully vaccine could be administered to kids between 5-18 also.Rama Rao further stated that they were in discussions with all three vaccine makers — Bharat Biotech, Serum Institute and Dr Reddy Labs — and would procure as much as they could.
TS better than other States, asserts KTR
The IT Minister said that Telangana was performing better than all other States. He said that the government will take the issue of junior doctors and nurses to the notice of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao. On his encounter with Covid-19, Rama Rao advised people to follow the advice of medical experts (not WhatsApp experts).
Stay strong mentally; plan ahead for post Covid-19, stop watching news channels and stop reading unnecessary WhatsApp/Facebook posts. Exercise as much as you can and even do walking if you can. Do not self-medicate.
Rama Rao said: “I had seven consecutive days of low to high grade fever followed by an infection of lungs. As I am a diabetic, controlling blood sugar and hypertension was also a challenge. But I just followed the instructions and while I feel weak now, am almost back to normal”.
The TRS working president also said that he would donate plasma soon.
PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH COVID
“I had seven consecutive days of low to high grade fever followed by an infection of lungs. As I am a diabetic, controlling blood sugar and BP was also a challenge. But I just followed the instructions and while I feel weak now, am almost back to normal,” said the IT Minister