‘Why Are We Still Doing Vaccine Mock Drills?’ Omar Abdullah Raises Question

Former Chief Minister of jammu and kashmir Omar Abdullah at his residence in Gupkar srinagar. Express photo by Shuaib Masoodi 26-07-2020

JAN 9: National Conference leader and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah questioned why India is still at the stage of conducting vaccine dry runs while restricted, emergency-use approval has already been given to two vaccines — Serum Institute of India’s Covishield, developed by Oxford University and Astrazeneca and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, developed in association with the Indian Council of Medical Research and the National Institute of Virology, Pune.

“Why are we still doing mock drills? The vaccines were given emergency approval more than 4 days ago. Many other countries started administering the first doses within hours of granting emergency approval. What’s the hold up now?” he tweeted on Friday when all states and union territories conducted the second dry run successfully.

The second mock drill was conducted on Friday in 736 districts across 33 states and union territories. Union health minister Harsh Vardhan has said that vaccine shots will be sent to states and UTs shortly.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), on Friday, issued guidelines to all aircraft operators who plan to transport Covid-19 vaccines packed in dry ice to various parts of the country.

If vaccines packed in dry ice is being transported in the passenger cabin of an aircraft, then the flight crew should be properly trained on the hazards and risks of its transportation, the aviation regulator noted.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with chief ministers of all states on Monday to discuss the Covid-19 situation and the vaccination roll-out in the country, the PMO said.