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Government will soon share guidelines regarding vaccine safety with states to make covid-19 vaccine more acceptable among masses once it is available for roll out.

The government on Tuesday said that there is an inherent issue of vaccine hesitancy among a certain section of people.

“It is the collective responsibility of the Union Government, State Governments, media, NGOs, vaccine manufacturers, pharma companies and other stakeholders to educate people and create awareness about the effectiveness and safety of vaccines," said Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

“Union Health Ministry is preparing a detailed guideline which will be shared with the states shortly, and one of the chapters in it deals with communication addressing issues of vaccine safety," he said.

The government has said that the authorities are working towards vaccine safety along with the fast development. “Most of the trials, related to vaccines and drugs, are multi-centric, multi-site. Each site has an Institutional Ethics Committee, which is independent of the government or the manufacturer. In case of any adverse event, this Committee takes note and gives its report within a period of 30 days to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI)," Dr Balram Bhargava, director general Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said.

“This apart, the Data Safety Monitoring Board, consisting of domain knowledge experts, monitors the clinical trials on a day-to-day basis and keeps an eye on adverse events and reports it to the DCGI, who then analyses all reports to find out whether there is a one-to-one co-relation between the adverse event and vaccination," he said.

Bhargava further said that it is the role of the DCGI, after collating all the data, to ascertain or refute whether there is a causal link to the event. This is done on a scientific basis. The initial causality assessment did not necessitate stoppage of these clinical trials.

The covid-19 cases continue to rise. The total number of covid-19 cases rose to 94,78,099 on Tuesday. India’s active cases currently stand at 4,35,603. A net decline of 11,349 cases has been recorded in the total active cases in last 24 hours while 31,118 new cases were added to the national tally in the last 24 hours, the union health ministry.

At least 77.79% of the new cases are concentrated in 10 States and UTs. Maharashtra reported the maximum daily new cases numbering 3,837 in the last 24 hours. Delhi recorded 3,726 new cases while Kerala reported 3,382 new cases yesterday, the government said.

Ten States/UTs account for 81.12% of the 482 case fatalities reported in the past 24 hours. The total toll touched 1,38,747 on Tuesday. Over 22.4% of new fatalities reported are from Delhi which reported 108 deaths. ce health ministry said.

More than 14.13 crore covid-19 tests have been conducted in India so far. While the cumulative positivity rate stands at 6.69%, average daily positivity rate in the last week has been 3.72%. In the month of November, 2020, more than 10.55 lakh tests were conducted daily, while on an average 43,152 new cases were reported daily and 47,159 persons recovered daily.

“India still figures among the countries having lowest number of covid-19 cases and deaths per million population. In the last 7 days, 211 cases and 2 deaths per million population have occurred in the country," said Bhushan.

“Over the last three weeks, a continuous decline in cumulative positivity rate has been seen. A decline in daily new cases is also continuing. This apart, the website 'Our World in Data' stated that, in the period between September 1 - November 29, 2020, India has been ahead of countries like Russia, France and UK, in terms of the number of covid-19 tests conducted," he said.

According to the government, the top five states that have shown a decline in active cases during the last month (November 1-December 1, 2020) are Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal. The top five states showing a rise in active cases in the same period are Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan.

“All should follow the covid-19 appropriate behaviours of wearing a mask, washing hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer, following physical distancing norms and getting tested and isolated on developing any symptom," said Bhushan.

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