Health minister Harsh Vardhan also says that in the first 3-4 months of next year, there is a possibility that govt will be able to provide vaccine to the people of the country
Five vaccine candidates are currently undergoing clinical trials in India. These include three that are in advanced stages of trials
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday said that the Central government plans to vaccinate around 25-30 crore people against novel coronavirus by July-august next year.
"In the first 3-4 months of next year, there is a possibility that we will be able to provide vaccine to the people of the country. By July-August, we have a plan to provide vaccines to around 25-30 crore people and we are preparing accordingly," Vardhan told reporters here.
Five vaccine candidates are currently undergoing clinical trials in India. These include three that are in advanced stages of trials -- the Oxford-AstraZeneca candidate for which the Pune-based Serum Institute is conducting Phase 3 clinical trials, Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin which is also in Phase 3, and Russia’s Sputnik V which is expected to start Phase 2/3 trials next week.
The other two candidates are Cadila’s experimental vaccine that has almost completed Phase 2 and a candidate by Biological E that in Phase 1/2.
The health minister made the comments at an event at the Old Delhi Railway Station today where he distributes masks and soaps with Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) to everyone present there.
Emphasising on the importance of wearing Mask and washing of hands, Vardhan said, “We will soon be completing eleven months in our fight against COVID. Since then, the most important principle to protect ourselves and others is to follow basic principles of hygiene and physical distancing. In fight against COVID, our biggest weapon is mask and sanitizer."
"I would like to request everyone to remember and follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour like wearing masks and following social distancing. These are important for health," he said.
The Union Minister also highlighted that India has one of the highest recovery rates in the whole world. "From 1 lab in January 2020, we now have 2,165 labs. More than a million people are being tested on a daily basis. We have completed 14 crore cumulative tests today. This all shows the determination of the government and relentless efforts of our corona warriors whose contribution is significant in fighting the pandemic," he said.
"Under the able guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji, India has become self-reliant in production of masks, PPE kits, ventilators etc. More than 10 lakh PPE kits are being manufactured every day in India. And now, our scientists are instrumental in the research for the vaccine and it will be available on time," he said.
Meanwhile, Centre has called for an all-party meeting of floor leaders in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha on 4 December to discuss the COVID-19 situation in the country, reported news agency ANI citing sources.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair the virtual meeting, according to media reports.
Currently,India's coronavirus tally breached the 94-lakh mark after 38,772 new infections reported in the last 24 hours, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare's data on Monday.
The overall coronavirus cases reached 94,31,692 including 4,46,952 active cases and 88,47,600 recoveries. With 443 new deaths, the cumulative toll mounted to 1,37,139.