Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan has said it is expected that the Covid-19 vaccine will be available in the coming few weeks and the vaccination process will kickstart in India as soon as it is approved by the regulatory agency concerned.
Speaking at the inter-ministerial meeting on Vaccination of South Asia against COVID-19 by the World Bank recently, Dr Vardhan said that the vaccine against COVID-19 is expected to be available in the coming weeks and no compromise on the scientific and regulatory norms, stretching from the safety of the trials to the efficacy of the vaccine, is being ensured.
According to a statement by the Ministry of Health, he also talked in detail about how by leveraging the existing digital interventions of the Mission Indradhanush immunisation programme, the country is building the advanced CO-WIN digital platform, which will allow citizens to self-register for vaccination, monitor their status and be provided with a QR code-based electronic vaccination certificate upon the completion of the process.
The health minister also mentioned that the government has analysed the present requirement of vaccines and is working towards augmenting capacities, the healthcare infrastructure and the workforce.
Dr Vardhan reminded everyone of the strong political commitment of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has been personally supervising the vaccine production by visiting the manufacturing facilities of the pharmaceutical companies engaged in the production of vaccines, encouraging the scientists at the helm and catalysing the process.
Further, informing the audience about the vaccine distribution expertise, production and storage capacity of the country, along with the presence of an experienced and vast network of professionals to streamline COVID vaccination, he said, “Effective planning and strategic management has enabled India to keep its cases per million at 7,078 against the global average of 8,883. The fatality rate is 1.45%, well below the global average of 2.29 %.”
“India's world-class research institutes have spearheaded the campaign against COVID-19 and are currently working towards facilitating capacity building for producing, distributing and administering the vaccine. A total of 260 vaccine candidates are in different stages of development globally.
“Of these, 8 are scheduled to be manufactured in India, including three indigenous ones. We have enthusiastically leveraged the support of international partners like the Oxford University, UK, and the Thomas Jefferson University, USA for vaccine research with Indian entities, both public and private,” he notified.