Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has said that people of India will get coronavirus vaccine in January while stressing that safety and effectiveness of vaccines has been the Centre's first priority.
The Union Minister said, "Our first priority has been safety and effectiveness of vaccines. We don't want to compromise on that. I personally feel, maybe in any week of January, we can be in a position to give first COVID vaccine shot to people of India."
He added, "We've formed task forces at state, district and block levels. Thousands of master trainers have been trained across the country. We've conducted training at state level and trained over 20,000 workers in about 260 districts".
The minister said after due consultations with experts, the Centre has put 30 crore people on high-priority list. These include health care workers, police officers on COVID duty, military and sanitation staff. Besides the frontline workers, people above the age of 50 years and those suffering from certain diseases are also on government's priority list.
He added that India is moving towards self-reliance or atmanirbharta and our vaccine development and research capacities are not less than any other country in the world. Meanwhile, six vaccines are undergoing trials in the country and are in different phases of development.
The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) of the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) is examining the applications of three COVID-19 vaccine candidates: SII-AstraZeneca's Covishield , Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN and Pfizer-BioNTech's jab for emergency use approvals.