PM Modi Holds Meet to Review India’s COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy
The virtual meeting with top officials reportedly included members from the NITI Aayog.
PM Narendra Modi on Friday, 20 November, took to Twitter to share that he had held a meeting to review India’s vaccination strategy and the way forward amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The virtual meeting with top officials also included members from the NITI Aayog.
The PM said that at the meeting, issues related to the progress of vaccine development, regulatory approvals and procurement were discussed.
“Reviewed various issues like prioritisation of population groups, reaching out to healthcare workers, cold-chain Infrastructure augmentation, adding vaccinators, and tech platform for vaccine roll-out,” PM Modi added.
The Race for a Vaccine, And Where It Stands
Several biotech companies have been in the race to develop a vaccine as the world struggles with the novel coronavirus. Pfizer announced on Friday that it would be seeking emergency use approval for its vaccine candidate, which has been found to be 95 percent effective in clinical trials.
Russia has said that their vaccine 'Sputnik V' is 92 percent effective against the novel coronavirus. Dr Reddy’s Laboratories and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, have partnered to conduct clinical trials of Sputnik V and its distribution in India. The vaccine has already reached India and human clinical trials are set to start soon.
Biotech company Moderna has also announced that their vaccine candidate has been found to be 94.5 percent effective in clinical trials.
India’s Vaccine Efforts
Closer home, India's first indigenous coronavirus vaccine Covaxin is entering its third phase of human trials.
Meanwhile, Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla said that the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine should be available for healthcare workers and elderly people by February 2021 and by April for the general public, IANS reported.
The SII CEO said that the vaccine will be priced at a maximum of Rs 1,000 for two necessary doses for the public, depending on the final trial results and regulatory approvals. Poonawalla had earlier said in an interview that SII has increased its production of the vaccine, with the aim of having a 100 million doses of the shot ready by December.
India on Friday reported 45,882 new COVID-19 cases, taking the tally in the country to 90,04,365. The death toll increased by 584 to 1,32,162. According to the Union Health Ministry data, there are currently 4,43,794 active cases across the country, while 84,28,409 patients have been discharged.
(With inputs from IANS.)
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