National Expert Group holds meeting to ensure Covid vaccines’ delivery

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New Delhi (NVI): National Expert Group on vaccine administration for COVID-19 today met for the first time and deliberated on strategy to ensure COVID-19 vaccines’ availability and its delivery mechanism, the Ministry of Health said.

The meeting was chaired by Dr VK Paul, Member Niti Aayog along with Secretary (Ministry of Health and Family Welfare) as co-Chair.

The expert group deliberated on conceptualization and implementation mechanisms for creation of a digital infrastructure for inventory management and delivery mechanism of the vaccine including tracking of vaccination process with particular focus on last-mile delivery, the Health Ministry said in a statement.

They discussed on broad parameters guiding the selection of COVID-19 vaccine candidates for the country and sought inputs from Standing Technical Sub-Committee of National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI).

The group also delved on the procurement mechanisms for COVID-19 vaccine, including both indigenous and international manufacturing along with guiding principles for prioritization of population groups for vaccination, the ministry said.

The expert group discussed on the financial resources required for procurement of COVID-19 vaccine and various options of financing the same. Available options in terms of delivery platforms, cold chain and associated infrastructure for rollout of COVID-19 vaccination were also taken up.

Further, strategy and follow-up action on all possible scenarios to ensure equitable and transparent delivery of vaccine was deliberated upon. Issues related to vaccine safety and surveillance were taken up and strategy for community involvement through transparent information and awareness creation were discussed.

The Health Ministry said that India’s support to its key neighbors and development partner countries for COVID-19 vaccines was deliberated upon. The expert group discussed that India will leverage domestic vaccine manufacturing capacity and will also engage with all international players for early delivery of vaccines not only in India but also in low and middle income countries.

The Committee also advised all the States not to chart separate pathways of procurement.