PM holds Covid-19 vaccination strategy review meeting

PM Modi holds meeting to review Covid-19 vaccination strategy; priority groups being identified

The Prime Minister reviewed the aspects of emergency use authorisation and for manufacture and procurement of medicine

PM Modi. Credit: PTI Photo

With five vaccines in advanced stages of development in India, Government has started identifying priority groups for Covid-19 vaccination like health workers, frontline workers and other vulnerable groups, a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review India's vaccination strategy was told on Friday.

Of the five vaccines, four are in Phase II and Phase III and one is in Phase-I and Phase II. Countries such as Bangladesh, Myanmar, Qatar, Bhutan, Switzerland, Bahrain, Austria and South Korea – have shown keen interest in partnering for vaccine development of Indian vaccines and use thereof, the government said.

The Prime Minister reviewed the aspects of emergency use authorisation and for manufacture and procurement of medicine. As the results of these Phase III trials from national and international vaccines arrive, the regulators will speedily and rigorously examine these for according authorisation for use.

National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC) in consultation with the state governments and all relevant stakeholders have accelerated the implementation of vaccination of priority groups in the first phase. The Prime Minister asked for a time-bound plan  for speedy regulatory clearances and timely procurement for early rollout of the vaccination drive.

The meeting was attended by Principal Secretary to PM, Cabinet Secretary, Member (Health) NITI Aayog, Principal Scientific Advisor, Secretary Health, DG ICMR, officers of PMO, and Secretaries of related Departments of Government of India.

Issues like prioritisation of population groups and tech platform for rolling out vaccine for the coronavirus were discussed in the meeting after which the Prime Minister tweeted "reviewed various issues like prioritisation of population groups, reaching out to HCWs (health care workers), cold-chain Infrastructure augmentation, adding vaccinators and tech platform for vaccine roll-out."

"The vaccination supply chain is being enhanced and non-vaccine supplies are being escalated. Medical and nursing students and faculty will be involved in training and implementation of the vaccination programme. Every step is being steadily put in place to ensure that vaccines reach every location and person according to the prioritisation principles," the government said.

The assurance at the meeting came in the backdrop of a fresh wave in many parts of the country and festival induced surge in the number of cases in various states including Delhi which has spread fear among people.