Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held a review meeting of the research into potential Covid-19 vaccines being developed. He also stock of the Health Ministry’s "comprehensive" distribution and delivery mechanism for the vaccines, once successful for usage.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan; NITI Aayog Member for Health Dr V K Paul and other senior scientists and officials attended the meeting. Modi appreciated the efforts made by Indian vaccine developers and manufacturers. He said the Centre would provide support towards development of the vaccines.
"Regulatory reform is a dynamic process, and experts in every current and emerging domain should be used by the regulator proactively, as many new approaches have emerged," said Modi.
For future delivery of the vaccines, Modi reviewed various mechanisms for adequate procurement, and technologies for bulk-stockpiling, filling vials for distribution and ensuring effective delivery.
He said both sero-surveys and testing must be scaled up, and added that testing - regular, speedy and inexpensive - must be available to all at the earliest.
He stressed on the need for continuous and rigorous scientific testing and validation of traditional medicine treatments. Modi "appreciated the efforts of Ministry of AYUSH for conducting evidence based research and providing reliable solution in this difficult time".
He said the country was resolved to provide "cost-effective, easily available and scalable solutions" for testing, vaccine and medication, "not only for India but for the entire world".
Modi, however, said vigilance should be kept up against the pandemic.
Vardhan had recently said a vaccine against Covid-19 would likely be available in India by early next year and there was a possibility that the shots may come from more than one source.
"We're expecting that early next year we should have vaccine in the country from maybe more than one source. Our expert groups are formulating strategies to plan on how to roll out the distribution of the vaccine in the country," he said during a meeting of the Group of Ministers.
Earlier, detailing the roadmap on vaccine procurement and distribution, Vardhan laid out the government’s priority and said the Centre plans to receive and utilise 400-500 million Covid-19 vaccine doses and that of the 1.3 billion population, 20-25 crore people would be getting the first shot by July 2021.