Punjab Food and Civil Supplies Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu on Sunday said that there is no need for any controversy on COVID vaccination as it is for the benefit of everyone.
"This is a very big achievement for India and humanity that vaccination has come against COVID-19. The central government has conducted dry runs in every state. We do not need any controversy on this issue because everyone is going to benefit from this vaccination," Ashu told ANI.
"I want to thank scientists for having worked to develop COVID vaccine. It is a good thing," he added.
On the farmers' issue, the Punjab Minister said that the central government should talk with an open heart with the farmer leaders.
"The law should be reconsidered. As it is, agriculture is a state subject under the Constitution. The central government is saying that the law is for farmers but they are actually making it for commercial organisations. The central government should understand that India is in states and not in the centre," he said.
The Punjab minister's remarks on COVID vaccination come even as Congress leader Manish Tewari had said on January 5 that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government has "politically misused" the COVID-19 pandemic and raised question marks on the reliability of the vaccine.
Meanwhile, the central government on Saturday said that the COVID-19 vaccination drive in the country will start from January 16.
The decision was taken at a meeting in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the status of COVID-19 in the country and preparedness of states and union territories for vaccination against the disease.
A PMO release said that priority will be given to the healthcare workers and the frontline workers estimated to be around three crores followed by those above 50 years of age and the under-50 population groups with co-morbidities which number around 27 crores.
"After the detailed review, it was decided that in view of the forthcoming festivals including Lohri, Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Magh Bihu etc., the COVID-19 vaccination will start from January 16, 2021," a PMO release said on Saturday.
Emergency Use Authorisation or Accelerated Approval has been granted by the National Regulator for two vaccines - Covishield and Covaxin - which have established safety and immunogenicity, the release said. (ANI)