New Delhi, October 4: Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, during his "Sunday Samvaad" interaction with social media users, said the government's estimated target is to receive 400 to 500 million doses of vaccine for 25 crore Indian citizens. The procurement would depend upon the successful completion of vaccine trials in India, along with deals that are likely to be inked by the government with offshore vaccine developers. COVID-19 Vaccine Portal Launched by Union Health Ministry; Has Details About R&D, Clinical Trials of Coronavirus Vaccine; Know More About The Portal.
Vardhan claimed that a high-level committee under chairmanship of Niti Aayog Member (Health) V.K. Paul is drawing a pan-India strategy for distribution of the vaccine. While the vaccine would be procured by the Centre, it would be supplied to the states based on their requirements.
The Centre would be closely coordination with the state governments to ensure block-level infrasture for storage of vaccine, the Health Minister suggested. He also added that the supply chain would be ramped up in day leading up to the official roll-out of the vaccine.
"There is a high-level expert body going into all aspects of vaccines. Our rough estimate and the target would be to receive and utilise 400 to 500 million doses covering approximately 25 crore people by July 2021," he said.
Watch Video of Harsh Vardhan's 'Sunday Samvaad' Interaction
#WatchNow the 4th Edition of #SundaySamvaad I’m thankful that so many of you are participating actively in this dialogue and helping to create mass awareness on important issues. @MoHFW_INDIA @moesgoi @IndiaDST @DBTIndia @CSIR_IND @ICMRDELHI https://t.co/yZLot4T0k4
— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) October 4, 2020
Vardhan said in the social media interaction that the state governments would send an initial plan where they would list the segment of population who are under high-risk and should be vaccinated first. The healthcare sector professionals, including doctors, nurses and other staff in both public and private hospitals, would be among the first to be administered with the vaccine, the Minister said.
Two major indigenous vaccine candidates are in mid-stage trials in India. The developers - Bharat Biotech and Zydus Cadila - are hopeful of releasing the vaccine by early 2021.
The Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII), the world's largest vaccine manufacturer, has partnered with Oxford University and UK's AstraZeneca Plc to domestically test and produce their vaccine candidate. The trials are in the final stage, and an official approval is expected by year-end or January 2021.