In­dia to pick 300m for first vac­cine jab

Pri­or­ity for front­line health, san­i­ta­tion work­ers, po­lice­men and el­derly peo­ple

Gulf News - - SUNDAY - NEWDELHI

In­dia’s coro­n­avirus in­fec­tions rose by an­other 62,212 cases over the pre­vi­ous day and a lo­cal me­dia re­port said yesteer­day that the govern­ment had be­gun iden­ti­fy­ing about 300 mil­lion peo­ple­who would be given the vac­cine first when it is ready.

The front­line health and san­i­ta­tion work­ers, po­lice of­fi­cials and el­derly peo­ple with co- mor­bidi­ties will get the vac­cine on pri­or­ity, re­ports said.

The plan, which is still in the draft stage, aims to cover 23 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion in the first phase. The final plan is likely to be ready by end Oc­to­ber- Novem­ber.

Of­fi­cials have said that giv­ing the vac­cine to In­dia’s 1.3 bil­lion peo­ple will be a mam­moth ex­er­cise, likely to stretch well into 2022.

Mean­while, Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi re­viewed the sit­u­a­tion 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.

Sput­nikV tri­als

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.

Dr Reddy’s Lab­o­ra­to­ries said it along with Rus­sian Di­rect In­vest­ment Fund ( RDIF) has re­ceived ap­proval from the Drug Con­trol Gen­eral of In­dia to con­duct phase 2/ 3 hu­man clin­i­cal tri­als for vac­cine Sput­nik V in In­dia.—

In­dia is iden­ti­fy­ing 300 mil­lion peo­ple who will re­ceive the ini­tial dose of a coro­n­avirus vac­cine, ac­cord­ing to health of­fi­cials as re­ported yes­ter­day.

Pri­or­ity will be given to work­ers in high- risk sec­tors such as po­lice, health- care, san­i­ta­tion, el­derly peo­ple and those with co- mor­bidi­ties, the re­port by Times of In­dia said, cit­ing of­fi­cials it didn’t iden­tify. The shots, which will in­clude a booster dose, are planned for the ini­tial phase once a vac­cine is ap­proved for use, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

The plan was re­vealed even as the ac­tive Covid- 19 caseload in the coun­try fell be­low 800,000 for the first time in nearly 45 days and stood at only 10.7 per cent of the to­tal num­ber of cases, the health min­istry said yes­ter­day.

For a coun­try of its size, a safe and quick vac­cine delivery is a top pri­or­ity for Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi’s ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The na­tion’s bro­ken health­care sys­tem, al­ready strug­gling to de­liver ad­e­quate care be­fore the out­break, can­not cope with the strain of a pro­longed pan­demic.

The ben­e­fi­cia­ries of vac­cine in the first phase will re­ceive an es­ti­mated 600 mil­lion doses and im­ple­men­ta­tion plan aims to cover over 23 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

Mean­while, call­ing for full pre­pared­ness to en­sure speedy ac­cess to Covid- 19 vac­cines for every cit­i­zen, Modi yes­ter­day sug­gested de­vel­op­ing a vac­cine delivery sys­tem on the lines of con­duct of polls and disas­ter man­age­ment while in­volv­ing all lev­els of govern­ment and cit­i­zen groups.

Steady de­cline

Chair­ing a meet­ing to re­view the Covid- 19 pan­demic sit­u­a­tion and the pre­pared­ness of vac­cine delivery, dis­tri­bu­tion, and ad­min­is­tra­tion, the prime min­is­ter also noteda steady de­cline in the daily cases and the growth rate. At the same time, he also cau­tioned against any com­pla­cency at the de­cline and called for keep­ing up the ef­forts to con­tain the pan­demic.

He in­sisted on con­tin­ued so­cial dis­tanc­ing and Covid ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­iour such as wear­ing the mask, reg­u­larly wash­ing hands and san­i­ta­tion, es­pe­cially in the wake of up­com­ing fes­ti­val sea­son.

AFP

A child dressed up like Hindu God Hanu­man is car­ried by a man while vis­it­ing Bara Ha­mu­man Tem­ple dur­ing the Hindu fes­ti­val ‘ Navrati’ in Am­rit­sar yes­ter­day.

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