Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Sunday that India may be able to start Covid-19 vaccinations as early as January, highlighting the importance of the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine.
“I personally feel, may be in any week of January, we can be in a position to give first Covid-19 vaccine shot to people of India,” Vardhan told ANI.
He added that the government does not want to compromise on the safety of the vaccine. "The Central government along with state governments has been making preparations at state, district and block levels for the past 4 months," he said.
This comes days after India’s total caseload crossed 1 crore. India has the second-highest number of total coronavirus cases after the US, which kickstarted vaccinations last week. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccine candidates received the emergency use authorisation of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week.
The minister went on to say that with India’s top scientists and health professionals at work, the country may have the capacity to vaccinate about 30 crore people in the coming six to seven months.
He also remarked that India had one of the highest recovery rates in the world, at 95.46 per cent.
Six vaccines are currently in different clinical trials stages in India, of which four are being developed in the country.