Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the COVID-19 situation in the country and the preparedness of vaccine delivery, distribution and said that access to vaccines should be ensured speedily once they are ready keeping in view the geographical span and diversity of the country.
He noted the steady decline in the daily COVID-19 cases and growth rate and stressed that every step in the logistics, delivery, and administration concerning vaccine should be put in place rigorously.
A PMO release said three vaccines are in advanced stages of development in India, out of which two are in Phase II and one is in Phase-III.
It said Indian scientists and research teams are collaborating and strengthening the research capacities in neighbouring countries – Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
There are further requests from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Qatar and Bhutan for clinical trials in their countries.
“The Prime Minister directed that keeping in view the geographical span and diversity of the country, the access to the vaccine should be ensured speedily. The Prime Minister stressed that every step in the logistics, delivery, and administration should be put in place rigorously,” the release said.
It said the steps must include advanced planning of cold storage chains, distribution network, monitoring mechanism, advance assessment, and preparation of ancillary equipment required, such as vials and syringes.
Two Pan India studies on the Genome of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19 virus) in India conducted by ICMR and Department of Bio-Technology (DBT) suggest that the virus is genetically stable and there is no major mutation in the virus.
The Prime Minister said that the country should make use of experience of successful conduct of elections and disaster management in vaccine distribution.
He said that vaccine delivery and administration systems should be put in place in a similar manner. This should involve participation of states, UTs and district-level functionaries, civil society organisations, volunteers, citizens and experts from all necessary domains. The entire process should have a strong IT backbone and the system should be designed in such a manner so as to have a lasting value to our healthcare system, the release said.
The Prime Minister gave directions that the country “should not limit efforts to our immediate neighbourhood but also reach out to the entire world in providing vaccines, medicines and IT platforms for vaccine delivery system”.
He cautioned against complacency at the decline in coronavirus cases and laid stress on keeping up efforts to contain the pandemic.
He insisted on continued social distancing, COVID appropriate behaviour such as wearing the mask, regularly washing hands and sanitation especially in the wake of upcoming festival season.
The National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC) in consultation with state governments and all relevant stakeholders has prepared and presented a detailed blueprint of vaccine storage, distribution, and administration.
The Expert Group in consultation with the states is working actively on vaccine prioritization and distribution of vaccine.
The meeting was attended by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Principal Secretary to PM, Member (Health) NITI Aayog, Principal Scientific Advisor, senior Scientists, officers of PMO and other departments of the central government. (ANI)