The comments come as state governments prepare a priority list of those who should be vaccinated first and plan how the vaccine distribution would work.
“I just want to make this clear that the government has never spoken about vaccinating the entire country,” health secretary Rajesh Bhushan said on Tuesday. He said the health ministry is preparing Covid-19 vaccination guidelines that will be sent to the state governments.
The Indian Council of Medical Research said administering the vaccine – when one is ready – will depend on its efficacy.
“The second issue is that our purpose is to break the chain of virus transmission and for that, if we manage to vaccinate a critical mass of the population, we may not have to vaccinate the entire population,” said Balram Bhargava, director-general of ICMR.
The health ministry is of the view that wearing of masks will continue to play a key role in containing the spread of the coronavirus even after vaccination.
PTI reports: Cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba on Tuesday reviewed with state government officials the arrangements for rollout of vaccines and asked them to prepare a database of people, such as health workers, who will be vaccinated on priority, officials said.