PM Modi reviews preparations for Covid-19 vaccine development
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday chaired a high-level meeting to review the preparations being undertaken for vaccination against Covid-19 as and when a vaccine is available.
The PM directed officials to evaluate various technology tools to ensure efficient and timely vaccination in due course of time. He also directed that detailed planning for such large scale vaccination should be undertaken immediately.
The status of Indian and global vaccine development efforts was also reviewed at the meeting. The PM underscored India’s responsibility and commitment to the global community to play an enabling role in global vaccination efforts against Covid-19.
“The PM noted that vaccination of India’s vast and diverse population will need to factor in issues including those related to management of medical supply chains, prioritization of at-risk populations, coordination between different agencies involved in the process, as well as the role of private sector and civil society in this national endeavour,” an official statement said.
Enunciated the four guiding principles, the PM said these will form the foundation of this national effort: first, that vulnerable groups should be identified and prioritised for early vaccination; second, that vaccination of “anyone, anywhere” should take place without imposition of any domicile related restrictions for getting the vaccine; third, that vaccination must be affordable and universal; and fourth, that the entire process from production to vaccination should be monitored and supported in real-time with the use of technology.
PM-CARES (Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations) Fund Trust had earlier allocated Rs 100 crore for coronavirus vaccine development.
India’s coronavirus count has reached 5,66,840 including 16,893 deaths, according to the Union health and family welfare ministry on Tuesday.
Earlier, Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech announced that it has successfully developed Covaxin, the country’s first vaccine candidate for Covid-19, in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and National Institute of Virology (NIV).
The Drug Controller General of India, Ministry of health & family welfare granted permission to initiate phase I & II human clinical trials after the company submitted results generated from preclinical studies, demonstrating safety and immune response.
Human clinical trials are scheduled to start across India in July 2020.