The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has given approval to Serum Institute of India (SII), Pune, to conduct Phase II+III clinical trials of Oxford University-Astra Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine (COVISHIELD).
“This will hasten the development of the COVID-19 vaccine”, said a senior Health Ministry official on Monday.
The Ministry said in a statement that while the country reported over 50,000 new cases in the past 24 hours, the case fatality rate (CFR) continued to be low.
“India currently has a CFR of 2.11%, which is amongst the lowest in the world. This can be attributed to the well conceived and effectively implemented strategy of ‘Test, Track and Treat’, which has guided the COVID management in the country,’’ it noted.
As per figures released by the Ministry on Monday, the country has seen more than 40,574 patients recovered in the last 24 hours, which takes the total recoveries to 11,86,203 and the recovery rate to 65.77%.
“With improving daily recovery numbers, the gap between the recovered cases and the active cases has increased to more than 6 lakh. Presently, it is 6,06,846. This means the actual active case load is 5,79,357 and all are under medical supervision,’’ the statement said.
The Health Ministry also announced the use of Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network (eVIN), an innovative technological solution aimed at strengthening immunisation supply chain systems across the country.
“This is being implemented under the National Health Mission (NHM), to get real-time information on vaccine stocks and flows, and storage temperatures across all cold chain points in the country. This system has been used with the requisite customization during the COVID pandemic for ensuring continuation of the essential immunisation services and protecting our children and pregnant mothers against vaccine preventable diseases,’’ noted the Ministry release.
It stated that eVIN enabled real-time monitoring of stock and storage temperature of the vaccines kept in multiple locations across the country.
“eVIN has reached 32 States and Union Territories (UTs) and will soon be rolled out in the remaining States and UTs of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Ladakh and Sikkim. At present, 23,507 cold chain points across 585 districts of 22 States and 2 UTs routinely use the eVIN technology. Over 41,420 vaccine cold chain handlers have been introduced to digital record-keeping by training them on eVIN. Nearly 23,900 electronic temperature loggers have been installed on vaccine cold chain equipment for accurate temperature review of vaccines in storage,’’ said the Ministry.