Home / Science / Health /  Who will get covid-19 vaccine in India first? Committee meets today

The national expert group on covid vaccine administration met for the first time today. From selection to procurement of covid vaccine, the committee deliberated on principles for prioritisation of population groups for vaccination. The meeting was chaired by Dr V K Paul, Member Niti Aayog, along with Secretary (Ministry of Health and Family Welfare) as co-Chair.

Three vaccine candidates are in different stages of human clinical trials in India. Pune-based Serum Institute of India has also partnered with AstraZeneca for manufacturing Oxford vaccine in India.

The Serum Institute of India has been permitted for conducting Phase 2 and 3 human clinical trials of the third vaccine candidate developed by the Oxford University.

The phase-1 and 2 human clinical trials of two other vaccines, developed indigenously by Bharat Biotech, in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research, and Zydus Cadila Ltd, are going on.

The expert group on covid vaccine administration also deliberated on creation of a digital infrastructure for inventory management and delivery mechanism of the vaccine, including tracking of vaccination process with particular focus on last mile delivery.

"They discussed on broad parameters guiding the selection of COVID-19 vaccine candidates for the country and sought inputs from Standing Technical Sub-Committee of National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI)," the government said in a statement.

"The group delved on the procurement mechanisms for COVID-19 vaccine, including both indigenous and international manufacturing along with guiding principles for prioritization of population groups for vaccination."

Issues related to financial resources required for procurement of COVID-19 vaccine, safety and surveillance were taken up.

The committee advised states not to chart separate pathways of procurement.

The expert group discussed that India will leverage domestic vaccine manufacturing capacity and will also engage with all international players for early delivery of vaccines not only in India but also in low and middle income countries.

The meeting comes in the backdrop of Russia on Tuesday claiming development of the world's first coronavirus vaccine. Moscow said Tuesday its vaccine offered "sustainable immunity" against the virus, but many scientists have questioned the approval of the vaccine even before Phase 3 trial.

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