Current AffairsIndia

PM reviews preparedness of COVID-19 vaccine delivery, distribution, administration

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday reviewed the preparedness of delivery, distribution and administration of vaccine for Novel Coronavirus.

Mr Modi appreciated the efforts of innovators, scientists, academicians and pharma companies in their efforts to develop vaccines and directed that every effort should be made to facilitate the research, development and manufacturing of the vaccine.

Five vaccines are in advanced stages of development in India, out of which four are in Phase II/III and one is in Phase-I/II.

Countries such as Bangladesh, Myanmar, Qatar, Bhutan, Switzerland, Bahrain, Austria and South Korea have shown keen interest in partnering for vaccine development of Indian vaccines and use thereof, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement here.

In an effort to administer the vaccine at the first available opportunity, database of healthcare and frontline workers, augmentation of cold chains and procurement of syringes and needles, are in advanced stages of preparation.

The vaccination supply chain is being enhanced and non-vaccine supplies are being escalated. Medical and nursing students and faculty will be involved in training and implementation of the vaccination programme.

Every step is being steadily put in place to ensure that vaccines reach every location and person, according to the prioritisation principles.

The Prime Minister has directed to work in collaboration with all reputed national and international institutions and regulators, to ensure the rigourous and highest global standards in Indian research and manufacturing.

The National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC), in consultation with state governments and all relevant stakeholders, have accelerated the implementation of vaccination of priority groups in the first phase.

The digital platform for vaccine administration and distribution is prepared and test runs are underway, in partnership with the state and district level stakeholders.

The Prime Minister reviewed the aspects of emergency use authorisation and for manufacture and procurement of medicine.

‘As the results of these Phase III trials from national and international vaccine arrive, our robust and independent regulators will speedily and rigorously examine these for according authorisation for use,’ he added.

The Government has provided assistance of Rs 900 crore under the Covid Suraksha Mission, to support Research and Development of COVID-19 vaccination.

The Prime Minister directed that a time-bound plan be laid out for speedy regulatory clearances and timely procurement for early roll-out of the vaccination drive.

He appreciated the comprehensive efforts at vaccine development, while emphasising that given the persisting pandemic scenario, there is no place for any relaxation in preventive measures such as wearing masks, keeping distance and ensuring hygiene.

The meeting was attended by the Principal Secretary to PM, the Cabinet Secretary, the member (Health) NITI Aayog, the Principal Scientific Advisor, the Secretary Health, the DG ICMR, officers of PMO, and Secretaries of related Departments of Government of India.

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