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Nandan Nilekani pushes for Aadhaar-type Covid-19 model to vaccinate people: Report

Last Updated : 14 November 2020, 07:56 IST

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For months, scientists and public health experts have been saying that the most crucial part of defusing the Covid-19 pandemic will be developing a safe and effective vaccine. But after the vaccine is ready, the biggest challenge would be dissemination and distribution of the vaccine to 1.3 billion Indian citizens.

Infosys Chairman, Nandan Nilekani, feels that without a digital orchestration platform the distribution of the vaccine won’t be possible.

In an interview with The Economic Times, he said, “In the case of vaccines, assuming that everybody needs to be vaccinated, that is 1.3 billion doses and most of these vaccines are two-dose vaccines and that means 2.6 billion doses are required and they are all injections. They have to be injected into the arm. You want to do this in two years. So, 2.6 billion doses of intramuscular vaccines in two years is an extraordinarily complex and sophisticated task and without digital orchestration, I do not see how it could be done.”

Since there are so many vaccines in the line, he mentioned that even after a vaccine is distributed, it might not give the expected results. To tackle this ambiguity, there must be an agile digital system to scale up and AI to figure side effects and withdraw the vaccines.

Nilekani rubbished the problem of privacy issues tied with the Aadhaar-type model to vaccinate people. “We simply are not geared for this kind of vaccination because this is adult vaccination at scale with an injection which we have not done ever before. I feel we need 200,000 new vaccinators who can be trained to give these vaccines. I do not see this as a privacy issue,” he told the news website.

The Infosys Chairman also said that vaccine regulators in the world would work closely together and might even give simultaneous emergency authorisation. "It will be entirely possible that by January or so we will have at least one vaccine in India," he stated.

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Published 14 November 2020, 06:12 IST

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