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Vials labelled covid-19 vaccine are placed on dry ice  (REUTERS)
Vials labelled covid-19 vaccine are placed on dry ice (REUTERS)

Expert panel suggests who will be on priority list for covid vaccines in India

  • Govt adds that the NEGVAC has recommended around 1 crore health workers should be given priority in COVID-19 vaccination
  • The health ministry secretary also informed that some of the vaccine candidates may get licensed in the next few weeks

The health ministry on Tuesday highlighted the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration (NEGVAC) panel's prioritisation of the population groups.

It said that the NEGVAC has recommended around 1 crore health workers should be given priority in COVID-19 vaccination.

According to NEGVAC's recommendation on prioritised population groups, the distribution of Covid vaccines should go in this manner: healthcare providers and workers in healthcare setting, personnel from state and central police, armed forces, home guards, civil defence and disaster management volunteers and municipal workers and persons above 50 years, the ministry informed.

On large-scale distribution of the vaccine, the ministry told reporters that there are around 2.39 lack vaccinators (Auxiliary Nurse Midwife-ANM) across the country. Only 1.54 lakh ANMs to be used for COVID19 vaccination. COVID-19 vaccination drive to have minimal impact on routine health services including routine immunisation.

It also said that the current cold chain is capable of storing an additional quantity of COVID-19 vaccine required for first 3 crore health workers and front line workers.

Moreover, the health ministry said that the government is ready to launch a massive production of Covid-19 vaccine once the scientists and researchers in the country give a nod.

During a press briefing, Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary, Health Ministry said, "We've has made all the preparations and drawn an outline to ramp up production of vaccine and to make it available to each and every person in shortest possible time."

"Process of collecting database of health are workers has started across all States and UTs and Central Ministries. This data is being uploaded on CO-WIN software and will be verified," Bhushan added.

The ministry also added that Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech have applied to Emergency Use Approval in the past few days. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has interacted with all vaccine manufactures and scientists earlier this month. He also visited three vaccine manufacturing companies located in Ahmedabad, Pune and Hyderabad.

The health ministry secretary also informed that some of the vaccine candidates may get licensed in the next few weeks. "Six vaccine candidates are currently in clinical trial stage in India," Bhushan added.

Moreover, Bhushan also said that India’s regulatory framework has a specific provision for grant of emergency use authorisation.


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