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New Delhi: For Covid-19 vaccination, India may need 1.3 lakh-1.4 lakh vaccination centres, 1 lakh healthcare professionals as inoculators and 2 lakh support staff or volunteers to support government’s mass-inoculation program, a FICCI-EY knowledge paper has indicated.

The paper on private healthcare players to augment government’s capacity across the value chain of vaccine distribution and administration also highlighted that 81% of survey respondents from private healthcare industry are willing to inoculate frontline workers in local areas and 75% are willing to inoculate their local communities,70% are willing to allocate manpower in semi-urban/rural areas for vaccination and 94% are willing to impart training for inoculation.

The paper also said that potential engagement model between public and private healthcare players is likely to emerge to bridge capacity gaps across the value chain of vaccine distribution.

“India is fully prepared for a vaccination initiative and at the threshold of receiving a vaccine. There will be no pressure on the drug regulator on the covid-19 vaccine approval and the final call on allowing its emergency use approval will be made on scientific principles," said Dr V.K. Paul, Member (health), NITI Aayog. He was addressing the session on "vaccine magic and reimagining healthcare in a post Covid-19 world", organized during FICCI’s 93rd Annual Convention on Saturday wherein the knowledge paper was released.

“Globally, 33 vaccines are in clinical trial phase out of which 10 vaccines are in the advanced trial phase 3. Indian vaccines are part of the top 10 global players. The key three indigenous players- Bharat Biotech-Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Zydus Cadila and Serum Institute (SII)-Astra Zeneca are in clearance phase-2, which has created an Apollo 11 moment for India," said Dr Paul.

Safety and efficacy are the primary concerns of the government while granting emergency use authorization (EUA) to any Covid-19 vaccine in the country. The government's cautious approach before approving a vaccine is apparent. The meeting of the subject expert committee of Central Drugs Standards Control Organisation on Wednesday asked Bharat Biotech International and Serum Institute of India for more data on the safety and efficacy of their shots and deferred recommending them for emergency use.

Speaking on the efficacy of the trials and its impact during trial stages, Dr Krishna Ella, CMD, Bharat Biotech International Ltd, said, “It has been crucial for the companies to protect the volunteers. The trials are completely transparent, and all data are enclosed. All Indian manufacturers are 100% sensitive and are to be completely trusted."

Zydus Cadila, which is manufacturing ZyCoV-D, said that the phase two trial of the vaccine has begun and that a promising and encouraging result has been witnessed. The vaccine may not require very cold temperature as it is a stable vaccine. India can create the vaccine with continuous support from the government.

As the country is fast progressing towards initiation of the covid-19 vaccines, the total number of coronavirus cases climbed to 98,60,810 and the death toll mounted to 1,44,172. India’s active caseload currently is 3.62% of the total active cases with 3,56,546 cases today. Total 30,254 persons were found to be Covid-19 positive in the country in the past 24 hours. Ten states/UTs have contributed 75.71% of the new cases. Kerala reported 5,949 cases in the last 24 hours. Maharashtra registered 4,259 new cases yesterday while West Bengal recorded 2,710 new cases, the government said.

At least 391 case fatalities that have been reported in the past 24 hours. Over 77.78% of them are from 10 states/UTs. None of the states/UTs reported double digit daily fatalities over the past 24 hours. At least 79.28% of new fatalities reported are from Maharashtra, which reported 80 deaths. Delhi also saw a fatality count of 47 while West Bengal reported 44 deaths within 24 hours.

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