New Delhi, November 8: AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria in an interview to CNN-Network 18 said that the COVID-19 vaccine would reach the common people only by 2022. He said,"For normal people, getting themselves vaccinated will take more than a year. In our country the population is large; we need time to see how the vaccine can be bought from the market like a flu vaccine and take it. That will actually be the ideal situation." He also talked about the procurement process of the vaccine and challenges related to it. He said the vaccine should be accessible to all countries without any "vaccine nationalism." He added, "The WHO has spoken about this as well. A country that makes it should not be the only country that gets it. When India has its vaccine available, we will distribute it not only to the neighbouring countries but at a global level. I am sure other countries will do the same."
Delhi is facing a spike in the new coronavirus cases, Dr Guleria, however, said that it early to decide whether it is a third wave or not. He added, "As far as Delhi is concerned, we can't say that the peak was over for us to say there is a third peak. It had not come down to the levels for us to say that the second peak was over. Delhi is seeing an escalation of the ongoing second peak. It is premature to say that this is the third peak in Delhi." He added that the air pollution, the decrease in temperature and the callous crowd behaviour have caused the recent rise in COVID-19 cases in Delhi. COVID-19 Cases in India Top 85 Lakh, Over 45,000 Coronavirus Infections Reported in Past 24 Hours.
Talking about the possible treatment for COVID-19, he said,"In my mind, there is still some role of plasma therapy. The plasma that you are giving should be creating neutralising antibodies. Giving plasma therapy just like that without testing if the plasma contains those neutralising antibodies is of no use. Giving it early would be useful. Giving it later after the 10th or 12th day would not help since the patient would have developed antibodies of his own." COVID-19 Has Taught the World Self-Reliance is Necessary, Says PM Narendra Modi.
Accoring to Dr Guleria , one of the biggest challenges that India has in the COVID-19 fight is to ensure a proper distribution of the vaccine on a priority basis. "Maintaining the cold chain, having adequate syringes, adequate needles and being able to deliver it to the remotest part of the country in a seamless manner is the biggest challenge," he added. Another challenge will be how to position a vaccine that is launched later but is more effective than the ones already in use. He said,"there is more than one vaccine candidate that is being studied. So if we have a vaccine that comes out later and is seen to be more effective than the first one, how do we position it? How do we do a course correction? How to then decide who needs vaccine A and who needs vaccine B? A lot of decisions need to be taken as we go along."
The COVID-19 cases, on Sunday, crossed 85 lakh in India. 45,674 new cases have been recorded in last 24 hours and the death toll stands at 1,26,121. With 49,082 recoveries in last 24 hours, the toll of total Total cured cases recovered patients stand at 78.7 lakh and the recovery rate at 92.5 per cent.