New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi slammed the Central government on Wednesday for increasing the gap between two doses of Covishield and declaring that the country needs a more rapid and extensive vaccination program. On Twitter, the former Congress president claimed that the government was trying to ‘save PM’s false image’.
‘India needs quick and complete vaccination- not BJP’s usual brand of lies & rhyming slogans to cover-up vaccine shortage caused by Modi Govt’s inaction. GOI’s constant attempts to save PM’s fake image are facilitating the virus & costing people’s lives,’ Gandhi said, citing a report claiming that the government miscalculated by increasing the gap between two Covishield doses. The government had previously defended its move to increase the gap between doses, saying that it was backed by scientific evidence.
India needs quick & complete vaccination- not BJP’s usual brand of lies & rhyming slogans to cover-up vaccine shortage caused by Modi Govt’s inaction.
GOI’s constant attempts to save PM’s fake image are facilitating the virus & costing people’s lives. pic.twitter.com/UUeRpDabSD
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) June 16, 2021
Justification provided by the government
‘Decision to increase the gap between administering two doses of Covishield has been taken in a transparent manner based on scientific data. India has a robust mechanism to evaluate data,’ said Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan. Also, he criticized the opposition parties for politicizing the vaccination drive in the country.
Dr. NK Arora, chairman of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI), said that the decision to increase the interval between two Covishield doses from 4-6 weeks to 12-16 weeks was based on fundamental scientific arguments. ‘We have a very open and transparent system in which decisions are made based on science. COVID Working Group took that decision without objection. This issue was then discussed threadbare at an NTAGI meeting, again with no dissenting notes. The recommendation was that the vaccine interval has to be 12 – 16 weeks,’ the NTAGI chairman stated.
Rahul Gandhi has been critical of the government’s vaccine policy. Earlier this year, Gandhi also tagged a report that the government doubled the gap between the two doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine without the consent of the scientific group it alleged recommended the increase.