Health

Coronavirus | Vaccine panel mulls early access

Image for representation.

Image for representation.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

India would leverage domestic vaccine manufacturing capacity as well as engage with all international players for the early delivery of vaccines in India as well as in low and middle income countries, the first ever meeting of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for coronavirus (COVID-19) decided on Wednesday, according to a statement from the Union Health Ministry.

Also read: When will a COVID-19 vaccine be ready?

The meeting was chaired by Dr. V.K. Paul, Member, Niti Aayog, along with Secretary (Ministry of Health and Family Welfare) as co-Chair.

Coronavirus | Vaccine panel mulls early access

Though there are several groups on vaccine development, this group is significant as it is expected to deliberate on how a vaccine, whenever it is available, will be practically made available to Indians. Though there are reports on the Pune-based Serum Institute of India readying 100 million doses by the year-end, it is not exactly clear how many of them will be available to Indians.

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On Tuesday, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin announced that his country had given regulatory approval to a home-grown vaccine. However, details on its performance in early trials are not available and Indian officials declined to comment on whether there was any partnership involving India and Russia to either test or procure the vaccine.

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The expert group on Wednesday deliberated on a “conceptualisation and implementation mechanism” to create a digital infrastructure for inventory management and delivery mechanism of the vaccine, including tracking of the vaccination process, with particular focus on the last mile delivery.

Also read: COVID-19 vaccine: Completion of trials could take at least 6 to 9 months, says Soumya Swaminathan

“The expert group discussed on the financial resources required for procurement of COVID-19 vaccine and various options of financing the same. Available options in terms of delivery platforms, cold chain and associated infrastructure for roll out of COVID-19 vaccination were also taken up,” the statement added. “India’s support to its key neighbours and development partner countries for COVID-19 vaccines was deliberated upon. The expert group discussed that India will leverage domestic vaccine manufacturing capacity and will also engage with all international players for early delivery of vaccines not only in India but also in low and middle income countries.”

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2020 9:55:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/first-vaccine-committee-meet-decides-on-wide-engagement/article32338941.ece

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