‘COVID Vaccines on the Verge of Being Available’: Health Minister
His remarks come a day before another dry run is conducted across India.
Two coronavirus vaccines, which got emergency use approval from India's drug regulator last week, are on the verge of being available in the country, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Thursday, 7 January.
"The COVID-19 vaccines, 'Covishield' and 'Covaxin', are on the verge of being available in the country. Our efforts are to ensure seamless last mile delivery of the vaccine," Vardhan was quoted as saying by news agency ANI during a meeting with health ministers of states and union territories.
His remarks come a day before another dry run in preparation for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in India is conducted across India.
What Else Did The Health Minister Say?
“The feedback on dry run of COVID-19 vaccine in four states was reviewed. We have made improvements based on the feedback. Tomorrow a dry run will be conducted in 33 states and union territories,” the union health minister reportedly said at the meeting.
"We have to ensure that no misinformation campaign on the vaccine is successful... Some priority groups have been decided for vaccination as advised by the experts' group formed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi," he added.
While the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India under the name 'Covishield', 'Covaxin' is being manufactured by Bharat Biotech.
The health minister, according to ANI, also said:
“Maharashtra, Kerala and Chhattisgarh have seen a sudden spike in coronavirus cases recently. This gives us a warning that we shouldn’t forget precautions and continue our fight against COVID-19.”
More Details on Transportation of the Jab
Further, government sources have reportedly informed ANI that the transportation of COVID-19 vaccine will begin by ‘today or tomorrow’.
“Transportation of COVID-19 vaccine will begin by today or tomorrow. Govt has allowed passenger aircraft to transport vaccines. Pune will be the central hub from where vaccine distribution will take place. 41 destinations across the country have finalised the delivery of vaccines.”
According to ANI, government sources have also said that for northern India, Delhi and Karnal will be mini hubs; in eastern region Kolkata will a hub as well as the nodal point for northeast; and in south Chennai and Hyderabad will be the designated points.
Earlier, on 2 January, a dry run was organised in 125 districts across the country to check whether India was prepared to administer COVID-19 vaccine to nearly 30 crore people in the first priority group.
The government had earlier announced that pan-India inoculation will begin once emergency-use authorisation was granted, and recently, Serum Institute of India and Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield as well as Bharat Biotech's Covaxin were approved.
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