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Coronavirus Vaccine in India: Who will get Covid-19 vaccine first and how? Harsh Vardhan spells out details


Coronavirus vaccine in India update: Sharing his views on Public-Private Partnership during the Pandemic, Dr Vardhan has said that the present situation demands multiple vaccine partners to ensure maximum vaccination coverage to the Indian population. (Reuters image)

Coronavirus vaccine in India: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has rejected “rumour about prioritizing vaccination of youth over elderly” as false. Dr. Vardhan has asserted that “groups with occupational hazard and risk of exposure to infection” will be prioritized for inoculation of the Coronavirus vaccine followed by “those at risk of developing severe disease”. The Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare said this during his weekly social media interactions “Sunday Samvaad”.

Talking about the issue of how the Central government is planning to roll out the Coronavirus vaccine by prioritizing target groups in the entire population, Dr. Vardhan has categorically stated that it is anticipated that initial supplies of COVID-19 vaccines would be available in limited quantities. “In a huge country like India, it is critical to prioritize vaccine delivery based on various factors such as per risk of exposure, comorbidity among various population groups, the mortality rate among COVID Cases, and several others,” Dr. Vardhan said.

Dr. Vardhan said that India is looking at the availability of several different types of Coronavirus vaccines. Some of these Covid-19 vaccines may be suitable for a particular age group while others may not be, he said.

On the issue of “Emergency Use Authorization of Coronavirus vaccines” in India, Dr. Vardhan said that the issue is being deliberated at present. “Adequate safety and efficacy data are required for emergency use authorization vaccine approval for ensuring patient safety. Further course of action will depend on the data generated,” he revealed.

Dr. Vardhan has stated that Coronavirus Vaccines currently in trial in India are 2 doses and 3 dose vaccines. Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech’s experimental Coronavirus vaccine candidates will require 2 Doses and Cadila Healthcare’s potential Covids-19 vaccine candidate requires 3 Doses. For other vaccines in preclinical stages, the dosing is being tested, the Union Minister has said.

On the need to include other novel candidates as COVID Vaccine, Dr. Vardhan said, “Considering the large population size of India, one vaccine or vaccine manufacturer will not be able to fulfill the requirements of vaccinating the whole country. Therefore, we are open to assessing the feasibility of introducing several COVID-19 vaccines in the country as per their availability for the Indian population.”

Sharing his views on Public-Private Partnership during the Pandemic, Dr Vardhan has said that the present situation demands multiple vaccine partners to ensure maximum vaccination coverage to the Indian population and “the use of a single vaccine from a certain company should not be seen through a negative lens.”

He reiterated that the most pivotal component of the planning is the cold chain and other logistics which need to be planned appropriately to ensure no glitches occur in vaccine delivery even at the last mile. The Union Minister highlighted the need for the massive advocacy required for building community sensitization activities to understand the reasons for vaccine hesitancy and address them appropriately.

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