Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday (April 7) said the COVID-19 vaccine needs to be administered to all as every Indian deserves a chance to a safe life.
“It’s ridiculous to debate needs and wants. Every Indian deserves the chance to a safe life,” Rahul tweeted, using the hashtag “#CovidVaccine”.
The Congress leader’s tweet came a day after the health ministry ruled out any possibility of opening the government’s vaccination programme to all age groups, a demand that has gained momentum amid the second wave of the pandemic in India.
The ministry said the vaccine needs to be given to those who need it and not those who want it.
The COVID-19 vaccine is currently available to all Indians above the age of 45 years.
While Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Maharashtra counterpart Uddhav Thackeray had put forth a similar demand, the Indian Medical Association on Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to allow vaccination of everyone above 18 years of age.
India on Wednesday, recorded 1.15 lakh fresh infections, the highest single-day spike since the pandemic’s outbreak last year, taking its tally to 1.28 crore cases.
The Centre, which has admitted that the second wave is worse than the first, has sounded alert in vulnerable states like Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Punjab, Chandigarh, Gujarat and Rajasthan and asked state governments to ramp up testing and tracing.
(With inputs from agencies)