Differing from ex-Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav's 'refusal to get vaccinated', ex-Jammu-Kashmir Omar Abdullah on Saturday, said that he will 'roll up his sleeve & get a COVID vaccine'. Refuting Yadav's view, Abdullah said that the 'no vaccine belongs to any political party, they belong to humanity'. Currently, a dry run of the COVID-19 vaccination delivery system has been conducted in 116 districts across 259 sites in India to test the mechanisms and reveal possible gaps in the system ahead of the actual vaccination drive.
I don’t know about anyone else but when my turn comes I’ll happily roll up my sleeve & get a COVID vaccine. This damn virus has been far too disruptive & if a vaccine helps bring about a semblance of normalcy after all the chaos then sign me up. /bVOw7lPJ6w— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) January 2, 2021
Earlier in the day, former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, said that 'I will not get vaccinated - that too on BJP's vaccine (COVID-19), as I don't trust it, at a press conference in Lucknow. He also added that his government comes to power, the vaccine will we be provided free - 'not BJP's vaccine'. Currently, the Yogi government is conducting vaccine dry-run in six places in Lucknow - with twenty-five health workers receiving dummy vaccines as part of the dry run.
"I will not get vaccinated, that too BJP's vaccine. I don't trust it. When our govt will come, the vaccine will be free. We will not get BJP's vaccine," said Akhilesh Yadav. Uttar Pradesh currently has 5,86,751 COVID-19 cases, 5,64,541 recoveries and 8,379 fatalities.
Reacting to Yadav's statement, Dy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya stated that it was an insult to Indian scientists who had worked hard to prepare the vaccine. Pointing out that an ex-Chief Minister making such irresponsible comments in public was irresponsible, Maurya added that Akhilesh Yadav should apologise for his comments. BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra too lamented at the politicisation of the COVID vaccine.
On January 1, Serum Institute of India's (SII) COVID-19 vaccine candidate - Covishield - was recommended by the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) for emergency-use authorisation - making it the first vaccine to receive the green signal. A similar nod was given to Bharat Biotech Pvt. Ltd (BBL)'s vaccine - Covaxin, while Zydus Cadila has gotten a nod to begin Phase-3 trials. Both vaccines now await DCGI's nod, while Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan announced that free COVID-19 vaccines will be provided to the most prioritised beneficiaries in the first phase of the inoculation drive.