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COVID-19 vaccine: 30 crore Indians to be vaccinated on priority

BusinessToday.In     December 8, 2020

Thirty crore Indians would be vaccinated on priority, said the Health Ministry on Tuesday. Around 1 crore healthcare workers, 2 crore frontline workers and 27 crore in prioritised age group would be prioritised.

Healthcare providers and workers in healthcare setting, personnel from state and central police, armed forces, home guards, civil defence and disaster management volunteers and municipal workers and persons above 50 years would be prioritised.

The ministry also said that India has eight coronavirus vaccine candidates in the making. Out of the eight, two have applied for emergency use authorisation. Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech have applied for EUA for their COVID-19 vaccine candidates, Covishield and COVAXIN. While, Zydus Cadila's candidate is undergoing trials, Novavax and Russia's Sputnik V are yet to start trials.

Here's a lowdown of where all the eight coronavirus vaccine candidates in India stands:

  • Covishield by Serum Institute of India and AstraZeneca -- applied for EUA
  • COVAXIN by Bharat Biotech and ICMR - applied for EUA
  • ZyCoV-D by Zydus Cadila and Dept of Biotechnology, India --  Phase II trials
  • Sputnik V by Dr Reddy's Lab and Gamaleya National Centre, Russia -- Phase III next week
  • NVX-CoV2373 by Serum Institute and NOVAVAX -- Phase III under consideration
  • Recombinant Protein Antigen based vaccine by Biological E Ltd Hyderabad and MIT -- Phases I, II  started
  • HGCO 19 (mRNA vaccine) by Genova, Pune and HDT, USA -- Phases I, II to start
  • Inactivated rabies vector platform by Bharat Biotech and Thomas Jefferson University -- Pre-clinical

Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary, Union Health Ministry said in a press briefing that some of the coronavirus vaccine candidates might get licenced as early as next week. The roll-out process would entail coordination at multiple levels and a detailed database.Cold chain infrastructure would be strengthened too.

Preparatory activities for the roll-out process would entail:

  • Line listing of detailed database
  • Multi level coordination mechanism
  • Strengthening cold chain infrastructure
  • Additional vaccinators
  • Communication strategy of vaccine safety
  • Co-WIN digital platform for covid19 vaccine delivery

"Vaccination cannot just be the state or the Centre's responsibility, it has to be people's participation," said Rajesh Bhushan. The ministry said that vaccination drive would be smooth and orderly and driven by technology. The drive would not compromise n existing healthcare services, utilise xperience of elections and universal immunisation program, ensure people's participation and ensure no compromise on safety and regulatory norms.

"Process of collecting database of health are workers has started across all States and UTs and Central Ministries. This data is being uploaded on CO-WIN software. This data will be verified," said Rajesh Bhushan.

"The current cold chain is capable of storing an additional quantity of COVID-19 vaccine required for first 3 crore health workers and front line workers. There are around 2.39 lakh vaccinators (Auxiliary Nurse Midwife-ANM) across the country. Only 1.54 lakh ANMs to be used for COVID-19 vaccination. COVID19 vaccination drive to have minimal impact on routine health services including routine immunisation," said Bhushan.

Also read: Serum or Pfizer - whose COVID-19 vaccine will be India's first?

Also read: COVID-19 vaccine update: Bharat Biotech files for emergency use of Covaxin

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