Healthcare workers, people aged above 65 will be given priority for COVID vaccine: Harsh Vardhan

·2-min read

New Delhi, Nov 19 (PTI) Noting that it is natural to prioritise COVID-19 vaccine distribution, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday said healthcare workers and people aged above 65 will be early recipients when a vaccine becomes available.

Addressing a webinar organised by the FICCI FLO on 'The Shifting Healthcare Paradigm During and Post-Covid', Vardhan said COVID-19 vaccine will be available in the next few months and it is estimated that by July-August 400-500 million doses will be made available for 25-30 crore people.

'It is natural the vaccine distribution would have to be prioritised. As you know the healthcare workers who are corona warriors they will be prioritised, then people who are above 65 years of age they have been prioritised, then those from 50-65 years of age have been prioritised,' he said.

'Then those below 50 years who have other diseases. It is all being decided by experts with a scientific point of view. We have made a very detailed, meticulous plan on this. What we would have to do in March-April next year, we have started planning for it from now only,' Vardhan added.

The minister said one can protect oneself from this deadly virus with small precautions like wearing a good quality mask properly, maintaining social distance and taking care of hand-hygiene.

India's coronavirus caseload mounted to 89,58,483 on Thursday with 45,576 infections being reported in a day, while the death toll climbed to 1,31,578 with 585 new fatalities.

The phase-3 trial of the Oxford vaccine of the Serum Institute is almost near completion, while the phase-3 clinical trial of the indigenously-developed vaccine candidate of the Bharat Biotech and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has already started.

Dr Reddy's Laboratories will soon start the combined phase-2 and phase-3 clinical trials of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, in India. Also, the Biological E Limited has started early phases 1 and 2 human trials of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE said their vaccine candidate was found to be more than 95 per cent effective in preventing COVID-19, while Moderna on Monday said its vaccine candidate against COVID-19 found it to have an efficacy of 94.5 per cent. PTI UZM SMN SMN