Sufficient arsenal of vaccines for priority groups in the first phase: VK Paul
India has sufficient stocks of the Covid-19 vaccine for the inoculation of priority groups, including healthcare workers and front-line workers, in the first phase, VK Paul, a member of Niti Aayog, said on Monday.
Paul, who is also chair of the National Group of Experts on the Administration of Vaccines for Covid-19 (NEGVAC) further said that the government will soon announce its plans for the purchase and distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine.
“Our first phase (of vaccination) comprises the priority groups at high risk of mortality and our healthcare and front-line workers. For them, we believe that we have enough reserve (Covid-19 vaccine) ”, he told PTI in an interview.
India’s drug regulator DCGI on Sunday approved the Oxford Covid-19 Covishield vaccine, made by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin for emergency restricted use in the country, paving the way for a mass inoculation campaign.
Paul noted that “within three or four months, there will be other vaccines and the reserve will be even greater. “And you can get a further acceleration in the vaccination program,” added Paul.
When asked when the government will announce its plans for the purchase and distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine, he said, “This will continue. Now that the essential has happened, all these steps will be taken. ”When asked what the biggest challenge in mass vaccination for Covid-19 would be, Paul noted that the biggest challenge encompasses the great mobilization required for such effort.
“Well, the most important challenge for mass vaccination on such a scale is mobilizing beneficiaries on the designated day and conducting sessions in systemic and fluid protocols, ensuring appropriate Covid-19 precautions, I think that is the biggest challenge,” he observed. . .
According to Paul, the purpose of vaccination is a staggered ambition and can be considered hierarchical.
“Ultimately, we would like vaccination to halt, halt and extinguish the pandemic, that’s the ultimate purpose,” he said, adding that to achieve this, a herd immunity of around 70% must be created, either through vaccination or adding those people who have suffered a natural infection.
Paul noted that for normal life to continue, there must be enough vaccinated people, so that the country’s industry, schools, transportation, judicial system, and parliamentary activity continue.
“Although the virus may be there, the pandemic may not be over, but enough economic and social life could continue,” he emphasized.
Responding to a question that India has no experience in adult vaccination, Niti member Aayog noted that countries face new challenges and then respond based on their intrinsic capacity.
“We have a great experience in the execution of immunization programs. We have experience in managing matters such as national elections that occur for a short period of time throughout the country, ”he said.
“So those experiences and those SOPs will be useful and will build on the ingenuity of India, the innovation of India and the experience of India that will allow us to put together a successful vaccination program, even if it is unprecedented,” he added.
Referring to the ‘Covid-19 Vaccine Operational Guidelines’ recently issued by the health ministry, Paul said: “God forbid, if you have any comorbidity, you will receive a vaccine in the first phase of the vaccination program. Otherwise, you will get it after these high priority groups have been covered. ”
India’s drug regulator DCGI on Sunday approved the Oxford Covid-19 Covishield vaccine, made by the Serum Institute, and locally developed Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin for restricted emergency use in the country.
The approval by the Comptroller General of Medicines of India (DCGI) was granted based on the recommendations put forward by a Covid-19 subject matter expert committee (SEC) of the Central Medicines Control Organization (CDSCO) .
“After proper review, the CDSCO has decided to accept the Expert Committee’s recommendations and consequently the M / s Serum and M / s Bharat Biotech vaccines are being approved for restricted use in emergency situations,” said the Dr. VG Somani from DCGI.
This paves the way for the launch of at least two vaccines in India in the coming days.
The Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, has partnered with AstraZeneca to manufacture Covishield.
Covaxin has been indigenously developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR).
In addition, the authority granted Cadila Healthcare permission to conduct the phase III clinical trial of its candidate vaccine in India, Somani said.