Aligarh : The Aligarh Muslim University celebrated the administering one billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine on Tuesday. A webinar, Billion Doses: A celebration of Science & Governance attended by senior doctors and other stakeholders and alumni across the globe was organized at the seminar room of the Department of Surgery by J N Medical College of the University.
Vice Chancellor, Prof Tariq Mansoor, while presiding over the webinar extended congratulations to all the health workers and their tireless effort due to which the country was able to achieve the target of one billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine.
“Everyone associated with the campaign, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Ministers of all the states, Health Ministers of central and state governments and the vaccine manufacturers are the main pillar behind the success of this mega vaccination drive. One billion is no small population, it is more than the population of several countries, together we have been able to achieve it,” Prof Mansoor said in his address.
The Vice-Chancellor also urged various stakeholders to prepare for the vaccination of children in the future. “We need to vaccinate our children. Once we are able to achieve it, then the academic activities can normalise. We need to focus on research and clinical trials of children, however, safety is our major concern, AMU is ready for vaccine trial for children, as and when required,” he said.
Prof. Mansoor appreciated the efforts of vaccine manufacturers, Serum Institute of India, and Bharat Biotech for their herculean efforts in providing vaccines to such a large population and even exporting the vaccines to other countries. “Due to them, we are now vaccine capital. We have got cheap vaccine which is safe and effective, AMU is playing its role sincerely and we should be on the map of covid research,” he added.
VC Prof. Mansoor also urged the AMU fraternity, alumni, teachers, staff members and students to get vaccinated. “Everyone should take vaccination dose and the alumni should motivate through their network for vaccination,” he said.
In his address, Prof. Mansoor also urged the J N Medical College faculty and staff members to remain vigilant and make preparations for third wave. “We should not be complacent. No one knows about it and we should be prepared to meet the challenge. We should upgrade our infrastructure, enhance the numbers of oxygenated beds and HDUs,” he added.
Earlier, Dr Krishna M Ella, Chairman & Managing Director, Bharat Biotech International Limited, in his address congratulated the University for celebrating the occasion. “It is a big occasion and I appreciate that AMU is the only University celebrating the moment. I also personally extend my gratitude towards University authorities and Vice Chancellor Prof. Tariq Mansoor. AMU is the first institution to enroll 1000 volunteers for clinical trial of the vaccine. This is a really big thing,” Dr Ella said.
He also urged for more clinical research and lauded the efforts of AMU for being a centre of clinical research. “AMU has a chance of being a global leader in transparent clinical research which will be beneficial for society,” he said.
Addressing the webinar, State Immunisation Officer & Joint Director, Family Welfare, Government of UP, Dr Ajai Ghai also appreciated the efforts of AMU in vaccination drive and also its role during a clinical trial of the vaccine. “We need to speed up our process as we still have a large population which is to be vaccinated,” he said.
Senior National Programme Manager-Health, UNDP Pankaj Somani gave a detailed presentation of the Cowin portal for real-time tracking of the vaccine, reaching out to the beneficiary. “We are part of the world’s largest vaccination drive and it is heartening to note that AMU is playing an important role in the drive,” he said.
Prof M M Sufyan Beg, Chairman Alumni Affairs Committee of the University too appealed to the alumni for utilising their contacts in motivating the people in their network for vaccination. “The myths associated with vaccination should be shunned and we need to get everyone vaccinated,” he said.
Principal, J N Medical College, Prof. Shahid Ali Siddiqui in his address highlighted the vaccination drive mentioning that India had achieved one billion doses since the vaccination drive was rolled out on 16 January 2021.
Later, Prof Mohammad Shameem, Principal Investigator, Vaccine Trial apprised the members about the ongoing clinical research and documentation regarding the vaccination.
University Health Officer, Dr Ali Jafar Abedi in his address highlighted the vaccination drive at AMU. “India has achieved the 100 billion doses in 281 days. We are the fastest and safest. It took several decades for BCG and Polio vaccines to reach this figure. Presently vaccination is being done at two centers at AMU and nearly 650 doses are being administered daily,” Dr Abedi said. He also informed that AMU has administered 50673 vaccines so far at its centers.
“We should remember one thing, even if we are vaccinated, we should follow the covid protocol of wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing,” Dr Abedi said.
Prof. Saira Mehnaz conducted the program and presented a detailed report on AMU’s contribution during the pandemic. “At the initiative of Vice-Chancellor Prof Tariq Mansoor, Oxygen Generation Plant costing Rs 1.41 crores was installed. Another two lakh dollars were raised as a contribution from alumni in USA and UK for upgrading facilities at JNMC Hospital AMU,” she stated.
Prof Saira Mehnaz also mentioned the daily monitoring by Vice-Chancellor and communicating with government officials during the hour of crisis.
Dean, Faculty of Medicine, Prof Rakesh Bhargava delivered the vote of thanks. The webinar was also attended by Additional Medical Superintendent, Prof Mohammad Aftab, Chairpersons of departments and several other senior faculty members.