PM reviews Covid-19 vaccine status, says it must be affordable, universal

New Delhi (NVI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi today chaired a high-level meeting to review planning and preparations for vaccination against COVID-19, as and when the vaccine is available. He also listed four guiding principles that will form the foundation of the national effort towards the vaccination.

During the meeting, Prime Minister noted that vaccination of India’s vast and diverse population will need to factor in several issues. These will be related to the management of medical supply chains, prioritization of at-risk populations, coordination between different agencies involved in the process, as well as the role of private sector and civil society in this national endeavor.

The PM highlighted four guiding principles that will form the foundation of the national effort:

* First, that vulnerable groups should be identified and prioritized for early vaccination, for example doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, non-medical frontline corona warriors, and vulnerable people among the general population.

* Second, that vaccination of “anyone, anywhere” should take place, i.e., without imposition of any domicile related restrictions for getting the vaccine.

* Third, that vaccination must be affordable and universal – no person should be left behind.

* Fourth, that the entire process from production to vaccination should be monitored and supported in real time with the use of technology.

In addition to this, the Prime Minister directed officials to evaluate in a broad manner available technology options that can form the backbone of the national endeavor to vaccinate all in the most efficient and timely manner.

He also directed that detailed planning for such large scale vaccination should be undertaken immediately. The current status of vaccine development efforts was also reviewed at the meeting.

An indigenous COVID-19 vaccine candidate COVAXIN, first to be developed in India, has received the approval by Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for Phase I and II of human clinical trials.

PM-CARES (Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations) Fund Trust had earlier allocated Rs 100 crore for coronavirus vaccine development.

-RJV/ARK