Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 17 called for speedy access of COVID-19 vaccine to people in the country once the vaccine is ready.
Chairing a meeting to review the COVID-19 pandemic situation in the country and the preparedness of vaccine delivery, distribution, and administration, Modi directed that keeping in view the geographical span and diversity of the country, the access to the vaccine should be ensured speedily.
Addressing the meeting, attended by health minister Harsh Vardhan, and other senior government officials, the prime minister stressed that every step in the logistics, delivery, and administration should be put in place rigorously.
“It must include advanced planning of cold storage chains, distribution network, monitoring mechanism, advance assessment, and preparation of ancillary equipment required, such as vials, syringes etc,” he said.
The prime minister noted the steady decline in the daily COVID-19 cases and growth rate.
Three vaccines are in advanced stages of development in India, out of which two are in Phase II and one is in Phase-III.
Indian scientists and research teams are collaborating and strengthening the research capacities in neighbouring countries viz., Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal and Sri Lanka as well.
There are further requests from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Qatar and Bhutan for clinical trials in their countries.
In an effort to help the global community, the prime minister further directed that “we should not limit our efforts to our immediate neighbourhood but also reach out to the entire world in providing vaccines, medicines and IT platforms for vaccine delivery system”.
He further directed that “we should make use of experience of successful conduct of elections and disaster management in the country”. The prime minister said that in a similar manner vaccine delivery and administration systems should be put in place.
The entire process should have a strong IT backbone and the system should be designed in such a manner so as to have a lasting value to our healthcare system.