New Delhi, November 20: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday held a meeting to review the country's strategy for vaccination once a vaccine against coronavirus or COVID-19 is available. Important issues related to vaccination such as arrangement of cold storage chains, which is vital if India decides to procure Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, and categorisation of groups were discussed during the meeting, PM Narendra Modi said.
"Held a meeting to review India’s vaccination strategy and the way forward. Important issues related to progress of vaccine development, regulatory approvals and procurement were discussed (sic)," PM Modi tweeted. "Reviewed various issues like prioritisation of population groups, reaching out to HCWs, cold-chain Infrastructure augmentation, adding vaccinators and tech platform for vaccine roll-out," he added. PM Narendra Modi Reviews COVID-19 Research and Vaccine Ecosystem, Directs to Increase Testing, Serosurveys.
PM Narendra Modi Reviews India's COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy:
Reviewed various issues like prioritisation of population groups, reaching out to HCWs, cold-chain Infrastructure augmentation, adding vaccinators and tech platform for vaccine roll-out.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 20, 2020
Pfizer’s BNT162b2 vaccine, which showed 95 percent efficiency in final-stage trials, must be stored at minus 70 degrees Celsius or below. Recently, NITI Aayog member (Health) Dr VK Paul, who also heads the National Task Force on COVID-19, had said the central government was examining all possibilities to extend cold chain facilities in case Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine needs to be procured.
"The arrangement of cold-chains for storing the vaccine developed by Pfizer at a low temperature of minus 70 degrees Celsius is a big challenge and it will not be easy for any nation. But then, if at all it has to be obtained, we are examining what we need to do...and will work out a strategy," he had said.
"India is one of the countries which is showing good progress in COVID-19 vaccine trials. Serum Oxford vaccine is in the completion of the phase 3 trials and Bharat Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine's candidate has begun phase 3 trials and the results for phase 2 trials can be announced any time. Zydus Cadila has completed phase 2 trials" Dr Paul had further said.
"The Russian vaccine in collaboration with Dr Reddy's Laboratories will begin phase 2 and 3 clinical trials soon while Biological E coronavirus vaccine's early phase 1 and 2 clinical trials have been launched," he had added.