On the occasion of its 62nd Annual Delhi State Medical Conference (MEDICON 2021), the Delhi Medical Association (DMA) on Sunday honoured Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan for his contribution to the medical fraternity and outstanding service and exemplary work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the event, Harsh Vardhan said, "It is a proud privilege and honour for me to be present here at MEDICON 2021 and receiving this award. I have several cherished memories of my time in the prestigious Delhi Medical Association (DMA), which has a rich history of some of the most esteemed medical professionals, not only in India but anywhere in the world."
Praising the efforts of the COVID-19 warriors, the Minister said, "COVID-19 pandemic gave us the opportunity that all of us came together and put India before ourselves. Healthcare Workers (HCWs) and Frontline Workers (FCWs), not just in this room, but across India, rose to the occasion and sacrificed not only their time with family, but also their own mental, physical and emotional health for this beloved nation."
"I want to thank you, your colleagues, your friends and family, and everyone else who gave you the strength and encouragement to serve our motherland during the time it needed us the most," he added.
Speaking of Indian-made vaccines, Harsh Vardhan said: "As of today, we have administered over 2 crore COVID-19 vaccine shots and have increased our vaccination rate to 15 lakhs per day. Unlike most other countries, we have a steady supply of COVID-19 vaccines that are safe with proven immunogenicity and efficacy. Based on the initial results, these Made in India vaccines have shown some of the lowest adverse events following immunization (AEFI) anywhere in the world."
He also stressed that India cannot be safe from coronavirus if the rest of the world continues to be unsafe, which is why it is essential to curb 'COVID-19 vaccine nationalism'. He also said that a fair and equitable distribution of the vaccine is the biggest need of the hour.
The Health Minister also said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has emerged as the world's pharmacy and a total of 5.51 crore COVID-19 vaccines have been supplied to 62 different countries.
"At a time of global crisis, under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi Ji, India has emerged as an example to the world in international cooperation. We are fortunate to have a global leader like Narendra Modi Ji who truly is an embodiment of the mantra 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam'," he said.
Looking at the possibility of eradication of COVID-19 in India, Harsh Vardhan said, "We are in the end game of the COVID-19 pandemic in India and to succeed at this stage, we need to follow three steps: keep politics out of the COVID-19 vaccination drive, trust the science behind COVID-19 Vaccines, and ensure our near and dear ones get vaccinated on time."
"The government has already involved private players in COVID-19 vaccination, and if hospitals want, they can conduct vaccination 24x7. My request to everyone is that just like people embraced 'Jan Andolan for COVID-19 Appropriate Behaviour', they should embrace 'Jan Andolan for COVID-19 Vaccination' and get all COVID-19 vaccine shots whenever they are eligible," he added.
( With inputs from ANI )
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