The COVID-19 vaccine is likely to be available in open market only after the 'prime targets' are vaccinated and there is an equivalence of supply and demand, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director Randeep Guleria said on Wednesday.
India began its vaccination programme against COVID-19 on January 16. Healthcare workers and frontline workers are to be vaccinated first, followed by people aged above 50 years in third phase, which is likely to begin in March.
"Vaccine will be available in the open market only when prime targets - people to be vaccinated - are covered. And there has to be an equivalence in supply and demand. Hopefully, there would be such a situation by year-end or before that. Then there may be a likelihood of vaccine to come to the open market," news agency ANI quoted Guleria as saying after receiving the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
Saying that vaccination is necessary to fight the pandemic, Guleria urged people to not be afraid of the vaccine as it is totally safe.
"Today I took the second dose of Covaxin vaccine and I haven't found any side effect from the first dose. I didn't face any difficulty," he said.
As per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, about 92 lakh vaccine doses were administered to healthcare and frontline workers in the country as on 6 pm on Wednesday. Of these, over 3.4 lakh second doses have been administered to healthcare workers. The government targets to vaccinate 30 crore people by August this year.