Home >News >India >Ready to roll out COVID-19 vaccine within 10 days of emergency use approval: Health Ministry

Union Health Ministry on Tuesday said that the government is prepared to roll out Covid-19 vaccines within 10 days of granting emergency use authorisation.

"Based on feedback of dry-run, govt said it is ready to introduce COVID-19 vaccine within 10 days from date of emergency use authorisation," said Union Health Ministry secretary Rajesh Bhushan.

The announcement by the health ministry comes just days after India's drugs regulator approved emergency use authorization of Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, locally manufactured by Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech's indigenously manufactured Covaxin.

Speaking at the press briefing, the health ministry also presented the CoWIN Delivery Management Plan.

"There are 4 primary vaccine stores called GMSD located in Karnal, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata and there are 37 vaccine stores in the country. They store vaccines in bulk and distributes further," informed Bhushan in a press briefing today. In that, 4 primary vaccine stores in India called GMSD

The facility including the number of vaccines stored and temperature trackers is monitored digitally. We have this facility for over a decade in the country, he said.

Automated session allocation, SMS to be sent in 12 languages, 24x7 helpline, chatbox with pattern recognition to help navigate the portal, digital locker for integrated data retrieval and storing of the vaccines, QR code certificate are some of the salient features of the CoWIN Delivery Management Plan.

The ministry also added that healthcare workers and frontline workers would not need to register themselves as a beneficiary as their data is bulk database that has been populated on the Co-WIN vaccine delivery management system in a bulk manner.

On Sunday, Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) approved Serum's Oxford COVID-19 vaccine 'Covishield' and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country, paving the way for a massive inoculation drive.

DCGI granted the approval on the basis of recommendations by a COVID-19 Subject Expert Committee (SEC) of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO).

In a PTI interview earlier, Poonawalla said that the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine will cost $3-4 per shot ( 219-292) to the Indian government and will be priced at double that rate in private market ones such sales open up.

Pune-based SII's shot is a Recombinant Chimpanzee Adenovirus vector vaccine (Covishield), encoding the SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S) glycoprotein with technology transfer from AstraZeneca/Oxford University.

On the other hand, Bharat Biotech has already produced about 20 million doses, Ella said, which will be increased to about 150 million before July or August. The firm has previously said its vaccine -- that uses a dead version of the virus -- has efficacy rates of at least 60%, though it has yet to release detailed data. Ella said Covaxin will feature in two peer reviews in international health journals on 10 January.

Meanwhile, in a joint statement issued by SII CEO Adar Poonawalla and Bharat Biotech's Chairman Dr Krishna Ella, the companies said that "the more important task in front of them is saving the lives and livelihoods of populations in India and the world."

"Now that two COVID-19 vaccines have been issued EUA (emergency use authorization) in India, the focus is on manufacturing, supply and distribution, such that populations that need it the most receive high quality, safe and efficacious vaccines," the companies said.

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