Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday chaired a meeting on issues relating to the Covid-19 vaccine research and deployment ecosystem, taking stock of the Health Ministry’s plans for distribution and delivery. He also called for scaling up of sero-surveys and testing in the states.
During the meeting, procurement issues, technologies for bulk-stockpiling, and vials for distribution were discussed, a government statement said.
“The Prime Minister stated that regulatory reform was a dynamic process, and experts in every current and emerging domain should be used by the regulator proactively, as many new approaches have emerged,” the statement said.
The meeting comes after the government’s statement that it if a vaccine gets regulatory clearance, the country is likely to receive 400-500 million doses, and as many as 25 crore individuals could be vaccinated by July 2021.
“The Prime Minister appreciated the efforts made by Indian vaccine developers and manufacturers to rise to the Covid-19 challenge, and committed to continue government facilitation and support for all such efforts,” the government statement said.
Thursday’s meeting was attended by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan; Dr V K Paul, member (health), NITI Aayog and chairman of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration; Principal Scientific Advisor Prof K Vijay Raghavan; and other senior officials and scientists.
Last week, Harsh Vardhan had said that states have been asked to prepare a list by October-end identifying the priority population for the vaccine. He had also indicated that prioritisation of groups for the potential coronavirus infection will be based on two key considerations: occupational hazard and risk of exposure to infection, and the risk of developing severe disease and increased mortality.
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