TODAY -

COVID-19 vaccine to be made available in V phases
SII to provide 30 crore to 40 crore dosages by ensuing July

Source: IT News

Pune, November 29 2020: The Union Government is planning to make the COVID-19 vaccine available in 5 phases and make 30 crore dosages available in the first phase, across the country after compiling the list of people, early next year.

The first phase will cover health care workers, police personnel, those above 50 and those younger with underlying illnesses that make them vulnerable, Principal Scientific Adviser K Vijay Raghavan said while speaking at a meeting organised by the Union Science Ministry and the Confederation of Indian Industry on Thursday.

He said that the national vaccine committee, headed by Dr V K Paul, has finalised a broad blueprint about distribution of vaccine.

"There are one crore health workers, about 2 crore frontline workers such as state and central police, armed forces, home guards and civil defence.

The people above the age of 50 are about 26 crore, having cardiovascular disease and diabetes and finally those below 50 with significant co morbidities, number about one crore" Vijay Raghavan said.

By and large the first phase will include heath workers including doctors, MBBS students, nurses and ASHA workers.

The second phase will cover the corona warriors and civic employees.

In the third phase the Government employees will be given the dosages.

The fourth phase will cover nearly 26 crore people above 50 years of age, while in the fifth phase those below 50 years, who face the possibility of infection will be given the dosages.

On Saturday Serum Institute of India (Pune) CEO Adar Poonawalla told media that the SII will be able to provide 30 crore to 40 crore dosages by ensuing July since the institute has capacity to produce nearly 5-5 crore dosages per month and also has good storage capacity.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the SII in Pune, Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad and Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad and reviewed the development and manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccine.

On his visit to SII, Modi was briefed about the institute's plan to ramp up manufacture of "Covishield" vaccine and the progress on the same.

Modi was welcomed by SII Chairman Dr Cyrus Poonawalla (79), with his son and SII CEO Adar and the latter' wife Natasha.

On the occasion, Poonawala told the PM that the clinical trials have proved that "Covishield" boosts the immunity and the possibility of spread of contagion has come down by nearly 60 per cent and there is no need to worry.

Besides the SII, the PM visited the Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad to know more about the indigenous DNA based vaccine being developed by Zydus Cadila.

He also visited Bharat Biotech facility in Hyderabad, where he was briefed about their indigenous COVID-19 vaccine.

The PM congratulated the scientists for their progress in the trials so far and asked them to express their free and frank opinion on how the country could further improve its regulatory process.

They presented an overview of how they are also developing various new and repurposed drugs to better fight COVID-19 .

As of now there are five potential vaccines are under different phases of clinical trials in India with the SII conducting phase-III trial of the Oxford-Astrazeneca COVID-19 vaccine, while the Bharat Biotech and ICMR vaccine have started the phase III clinical trials.

An indigenously developed vaccine by Zydus Cadila has completed phase II clinical trial, while Dr Reddy's Laboratories would be beginning combined phase II and III clinical trials of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine in India.

Besides, Biological E.Ltd has started early phase I and II human trials of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate.


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