He also said that 1.84 crore coronavirus vaccine doses have been administered till Saturday morning, while 23 crore tests have been conducted.
The latest figures from the Health Ministry say that 2.91 crore people had been vaccinated till 7 pm on Saturday.
“India has developed two vaccines, which have been given to 71 countries. Many more nations are seeking the vaccines, and these are not little-known nations…Canada, Brazil and other developed countries are using Indian vaccines with a great zeal,” he said.
“More than half a dozen vaccines are going to come up,” he said.
“Till Saturday morning, 1.84 crore vaccine shots have been given in the country and 20 lakh people were inoculated yesterday,” the minister added.
He was speaking while inaugurating the new green campus of the National Institute of Research in Environmental Health near here.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to create a new India to turn it into a ‘vishwa guru’ (world leader), he added.
“Respect science. There is a need to end politics over it (vaccine) given that it is a scientific fight not a political one. That is why we should work unitedly,” Vardhan said.
The efforts of our scientists are praiseworthy as due to their labour we have achieved all this. Year 2020, apart from being a COVID-19 year, will be remembered as the year of science and scientists, he added.
He said that initially there was only one laboratory in India for COVID-19 testing. “But we have 2,412 testing facilities now,” he added.
“We were the first in the world to isolate the coronavirus. We isolated its mutation. And our scientists helped the ICMR in vaccine. People have praised it (vaccine). Some people tried to create confusion, but truth is unbeatable,” he said.
Talking about the rising infection cases, the minister said this “disturbing trend” was due to the carelessness and misunderstanding.
“People think that as the vaccine has come and all is well now,” he said, while urging them to follow the COVID-19 rules for protection against the virus.
Vaccine update in India
According to a provision report, of the 2,91,92,547 doses administered till now, 73,31,498 were given to healthcare and 72,96,474 frontline workers who have taken the first dose, and 42,58,297 healthcare and 10,53,732 frontline workers who have been given the second dose.
As many as 78,66,241 senior citizens and 13,86,305 aged 45 and above with specific comorbidities have received vaccine doses.
“A total of 9,74,090 vaccine doses were given till 7 pm on Saturday, the 57th day of the nationwide COVID19 vaccination.
“Of these, 8,05,014 beneficiaries were vaccinated for the first dose and 1,69,076 healthcare and frontline workers received the second dose of vaccine according to the provisional report. The final report for the day would be completed by late in the night,” the ministry said in a statement.
The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 with healthcare workers getting inoculated and vaccination of the frontline workers started from February 2.
The next phase of COVID-19 vaccination commenced on March 1 for those who are above 60 years of age and for people aged 45 and above with specified comorbid conditions.