Prime Minister Narendra Modi has directed senior officials that a time-bound plan should be laid out for speedy regulatory clearances and timely procurement for early rollout of the vaccination drive.
The directions came in a review meeting on the preparedness of Covid-19 vaccine delivery, distribution and administration with Principal Secretary to PM, Cabinet Secretary, Member (Health) NITI Aayog, Principal Scientific Advisor, Secretary Health, DG ICMR, officers of PMO, and Secretaries of related Departments of Government of India.
A press release issued by the Prime Minister's Office reads that five vaccines of Covid are in advanced stages of development in India, out of which 4 are in Phase II/III and one is in Phase-I/II.
The PMO has informed that nations including 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.
In an effort to administer the vaccine at the first available opportunity, databases of healthcare and frontline workers, augmentation of cold chains and procurement of syringes and needles are in advanced stages of preparation.
The PMO has said that 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.
The PMO has assured that every step is being steadily put in place to ensure that vaccines reach every location and person according to the prioritisation principles.
PM Modi has directed officials to work in collaboration with all reputed national and international institutions and regulators to ensure the rigour and highest global standards in Indian research and manufacturing.
The PMO has informed that 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 first phase.
The digital platform for vaccine administration and distribution is prepared and test runs underway in partnership with the State and District Level stakeholders.
Modi also 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 vaccines, the country's robust and independent regulators will speedily and rigorously examine these for authorisation for use.
According to PMO, the government has provided assistance of Rs 900 crore under Covid Suraksha Mission to support Research and Development of Covid-19 vaccination.