13 Oct 2020: When will India get coronavirus vaccine? Early 2021, claims minister
That too, from multiple sources.
He also said experts were deliberating on a distribution plan, assessing who should be administered the doses first, and other logistics.
Here's more on this.
Timeline: WHO also believes a vaccine is merely few months away
Harsh Vardhan's timeline agrees with the one predicted by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan said at least one vaccine could be poised for registration by end of 2020 or the beginning of next year.
"We have about 40 vaccine candidates now in some stage of clinical trials, and 10 of them are in the phase three trials," she had said.
Fact: Now, Harsh Vardhan's words paint a heartening picture
"Our expert groups are already formulating and devising strategies to plan on how to roll out the distribution of the vaccines in the country, who do we give the vaccine first, and then of course we are strengthening the cold chain facilities," he said.
Looking back: First in line for vaccine will be high-risk individuals
On Sunday, the minister said the vaccine would be made available to those who face a higher risk of getting infected, like the frontline health professionals, first.
He made these remarks during his weekly Sunday Samvad and also rejected speculations that the government will give the vaccine to the working-class hurriedly, to help the economy get back on its feet.
Fact: Risk factor will determine who gets the vaccine first
"Prioritization of groups to be vaccinated shall be based on two key considerations: first, is occupational hazard and risk of exposure to the infection; second, is the risk of developing severe disease and increased mortality," he explained.
Statement: Minister said India can't go about randomly vaccinating people
He also stressed that limited amounts of the vaccine would be made available initially.
"In a huge country like India, it is critical to prioritize vaccine delivery based upon various factors such as the risk of exposure, co-morbidity among various population groups, the mortality rate among COVID-19 cases, and several other reasons, rather than randomly vaccinating everyone," he said.
What he said: Communities will play major role during distribution process
Harsh Vardhan had also said that no one can put a date on the vaccine's availability, as it is a long process, replete with extensive research.
He said that communities will play a major role in vaccine distribution.
"Community sensitization activities to understand the reason for vaccine hesitancy and address them appropriately also need to be looked into," he had said.
Numbers: At 10,00,000+ tests yesterday, India reported over 54,000 cases
Currently, there are four potential coronavirus vaccines being tested in India. The country is the second worst-affected in the coronavirus pandemic, but since the beginning of October, the number of fresh cases is dipping, despite no significant decrease in testing.
On Monday, 10,73,014 tests were conducted and nearly 54,000 fresh infections were detected.
India's recovery rate has also climbed to 86.7%.