Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the world’s biggest inoculation drive against coronavirus is set to begin in the country, a day after the drugs regulator approved two vaccines for restricted emergency use. Lauding the scientists and technicians for the “Made in India” vaccines, he said the country is proud of them. The world’s biggest COVID-19 vaccination programme set to begin in India. For this, the country is proud of the contributions of its scientists and technicians”, Modi said.
India’s drugs regulator on Sunday approved Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country, paving the way for a massive inoculation drive. This paves the way for the rollout of at least two vaccines in India in the coming days.
The Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, has tied up with AstraZeneca to manufacture Covishield. Covaxin has been indigenously developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). The approval by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) was given on the basis of recommendations submitted by a COVID-19 subject expert committee (SEC) of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO).
India has enough stockpile of the COVID-19 vaccine for inoculation of priority groups, including healthcare workers and frontline workers, in the first phase. The government will soon announce its plans for purchase and distribution of COVID-19 vaccine. The first phase (of vaccination) comprises priority groups with high risk of mortality and our healthcare and frontline workers. Quality is as much important as quantity, our standards should rise with our scale in our quest for Aatmanirbhar Bharat, Prime Minister Modi insisted. The prime minister said in any progressive society, research is key and effective and its effects are commercial and social. They also help widen approach and thinking.
Drug regulator DCGI has approved the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country, paving the way for a massive inoculation drive. According to government sources, in three to four months from now, there will be other vaccines and the stockpile will be even bigger. That will bring in more acceleration in the vaccination programme.
The biggest challenge encompasses the huge mobilisation of beneficiaries on the appointed day and to conduct sessions in smooth, systemic protocols, ensuring COVID-19 appropriate precautions. The purpose of vaccination is a staggered ambition and can be seen as hierarchical. Finally, the end game is to have the vaccination to end the pandemic and for that to be achieved, a herd immunity of about 70 per cent has to be created either through vaccination or by counting up people who had the Covid 19 infection.