NITI Aayog member Dr V. K. Paul on Tuesday said thwarting the third wave of Covid-19 pandemic is in the hands of the people as "it can be stopped if Covid appropriate behaviour is followed, and majority of the people get vaccinated".

Paul's remarks came a day after a record 85 lakh Covid vaccination doses were administered across the country till Monday midnight with the beginning of the implementation of the revised Covid-19 vaccination policy, in which the Centre is procuring 75 per cent of domestically available vaccines for free jabs to the 18-plus population.

He said the day one vaccination figures demonstrate India's ability to carry out vaccination on a large-scale for days and weeks together.

"All this was possible because of planning and coordination between the Central and state governments and taking up the task work in a mission mode," Paul said.

Explaining about the expected third Covid wave, Paul said, "Whether or not a third wave occurs is in our hands."

"Why will there be a third wave if we follow Covid appropriate behaviour and get ourselves vaccinated? There are many countries where even the second wave has not arrived. If we follow Covid appropriate behaviour, this period will pass," a Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) statement mentioned quoting Paul.

Paul reminded that a "third wave can be stopped if Covid appropriate behaviour is followed, and the majority of people get vaccinated".

The NITI Aayog Member underscored the importance of fast vaccination in order to enable India to open its economy and resume normal work and emphasised on fast vaccination as a key to go back to normal.

"We need to do our daily work, maintain our social life, open schools, businesses, take care of our economy; we will be able to do all this only when we are able to vaccinate at a fast pace," Paul said.

"Vaccines are saving lives, now is the best time to take the vaccine"

The NITI Aayog Member also dismissed the rumours against Covid-19 vaccines, saying "it is a big mistake to think that our vaccines are unsafe".

"All vaccines of the world have been approved under Emergency Use Authorization, just like our vaccines. People from various sections of society have taken these. The second wave has now receded and it is the best time to take the Covid-19 vaccine."

Paul pointed out 'how our decision to vaccinate our health workers on priority has protected them during the second wave'.

"Very few health care workers got infected, otherwise, our hospitals themselves would have collapsed during the second wave, so please be assured that people are being saved from infection due to the vaccine."

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