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Opinion

2021 Brings Hope, Ready for Biggest Vaccine Campaign: PM Modi

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Massive preparations are underway in India for the launch of the world’s largest vaccination campaign against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday amid growing signs that drug regulators of the country would soon approve the first vaccine for a list. in the coming days.

Modi said the end of a pandemic-ravaged 2020 had brought new hope and urged citizens to join the vaccination effort in 2021 in the same way they did to reduce infections last year.

“For vaccines, all the necessary preparations are being made. Efforts are being made to ensure that the vaccines being made in India reach the population that needs them most. India is making great efforts to carry out the largest immunization campaign in the world, “said the prime minister, inaugurating a new All-India Institute of Medical Sciences in Rajkot, Gujarat, via video link from New Delhi .

“In 2020, there was an atmosphere of disappointment and dismay due to the infection. There were doubts everywhere. But 2021 comes with a ray of hope in terms of his treatment, ”Modi said.

He described the battle against the coronavirus disease as a fight against “an unknown enemy” and urged people not to believe the rumors, behave as “responsible citizens” and “refrain from forwarding unverified social media messages.”

The prime minister also said that the last day of the year was one to “remember India’s millions of doctors, health warriors, sanitation workers, pharmacy workers and other frontline crown warriors.”

Read more | Distribution plan drawn up as India awaits vaccine approval

Three vaccines are being evaluated for emergency approval by the Central Drug Control and Standards Organization (CDSCO). These are the vaccine candidates developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, which was the first approved anywhere in the world after clinical trials; The Serum Institute of India (SII) University of Oxford-AstraZeneca candidate, believed to be the one with the highest number of doses available initially; and one developed by Bharat Biotech International Limited, an antidote entirely manufactured in India.

According to government officials who asked not to be identified, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine candidate has become the trailblazer for receiving regulatory approval, particularly as it had been approved by the UK drug regulator on Wednesday.

Implementing any vaccine that is approved will be a challenging task: The government has set a goal to reach 300 million people by July, meaning that more than 1.5 million will need to be inoculated on average every day starting in January.

“… This year showed that when India joins in, it can effectively cope with the toughest crisis. India is in a much better position as a result of the effective steps and India’s record of saving Corona victims has been much better than other countries, ”Modi said.

Later that day, the Union’s health secretary, Rajesh Bhushan, chaired a high-level meeting in which he directed states to prepare for the launch of the Covid-19 vaccine. The government also decided to hold a nationwide vaccination drill on January 2, replicating drills conducted in seven districts last week.

“It is proposed that the activity be carried out in all state capitals at at least three session sites; some states will also include districts that are located in difficult terrain or areas that have poor logistical support… ”the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said in a statement.

Read more | 11 foreigners test positive for Covid-19 in Jamshedpur amid scare over mutant variant

According to the Ministry of Health, the main objective of the trial is to evaluate the operational viability of the Co-WIN application, the digital platform that will be the backbone of vaccination management. The links between planning and implementation will also be tested on a large scale and issues that can create challenges during actual implementation will be identified.

“The plan is all finalized, so drills are being carried out to see how it works on the ground. The pilot test helped us to identify certain weak points that are being solved, and now the same exercise will be carried out throughout the country, ”said a senior official from the Ministry of Health, requesting anonymity.

In general, the vaccination process will include profiling and managing the schedule of various groups of people. These include 100 million healthcare workers (divided into nine categories), frontline workers such as police and military personnel, disaster management volunteers and municipal workers, and members of the general public most at risk of contracting the virus. .

The last group includes the largest numbers, around 270 million. Of these, 260 million are people over 50 who have been categorized as a priority group. The remaining 10 million are expected to be younger people but with comorbid conditions associated with an increased risk of disease or mortality.

According to the Center’s Covid Vaccine Operational Guidelines, the age of a vaccine recipient will be considered from January 1, 2021. Anyone born on or before January 1, 1971 will be included in this category, and The high-risk population group will be further subcategorized into various age groups with priority to people over 60 years of age.

The most recent electoral records for Lok Sabha and the elections to the state legislature will be used to identify the population aged 50 and over.

The prime minister also praised the Gujarat government’s efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak and spoke about his government’s initiatives in the medical education sector. “We are working in mission mode to improve medical education in India. After the formation of the National Medical Commission, the quality and quantity of health education will improve, ”he added.

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