Harsh Vardhan says ensuring no compromise on scientific, regulatory norms of COVID-19 vaccine

The Union health minister added the government has analysed the present requirement of vaccines and is working towards augmenting capacities, the healthcare infrastructure and the workforce

Press Trust of India December 10, 2020 23:35:24 IST
Harsh Vardhan says ensuring no compromise on scientific, regulatory norms of COVID-19 vaccine

File Image of Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan. PTI

New Delhi: The vaccine against COVID-19 is expected to be available in the coming weeks and with stringent oversight, it is being ensured that there is no compromise on the scientific and regulatory norms, stretching from the safety of the trials to the efficacy of the vaccine, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Thursday.

Vardhan, who digitally addressed the inter-ministerial meeting on Vaccination of South Asia against COVID-19 by the World Bank, detailed how by leveraging the existing digital interventions of the Mission Indradhanush immunisation programme, the country is building the advanced CO-WIN digital platform, which will allow citizens to self-register for vaccination, monitor their status and be provided with a QR code-based electronic vaccination certificate upon the completion of the process, a statement issued by the health ministry said.

The minister said the government has analysed the present requirement of vaccines and is working towards augmenting capacities, the healthcare infrastructure and the workforce.

"It is expected that the vaccine will be available in the coming few weeks and the vaccination process will kickstart in India as soon as it is approved by the regulatory agency concerned.

"With stringent oversight, we are ensuring that there is no compromise on the scientific and regulatory norms, stretching from the safety of the trials to the efficacy of the vaccines," he underlined.

Vardhan reminded everyone of the strong political commitment of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has been personally supervising the vaccine production by visiting the manufacturing facilities of the pharmaceutical companies engaged in the production of vaccines, encouraging the scientists at the helm and catalysing the process.

Presenting a detailed summary of the proactive, preemptive, graded, whole of the government's and the society's approach towards the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, he said, "Effective planning and strategic management has enabled India to keep its cases per million at 7,078 against the global average of 8,883. The fatality rate is 1.45 percent, well below the global average of 2.29 percent."

Vardhan informed the audience about the vaccine distribution expertise, production and storage capacity of the country, along with the presence of an experienced and vast network of professionals to streamline COVID vaccination.

"India's world-class research institutes have spearheaded the campaign against COVID-19 and are currently working towards facilitating capacity building for producing, distributing and administering the vaccine. A total of 260 vaccine candidates are in different stages of development globally.

"Of these, eight are scheduled to be manufactured in India, including three indigenous ones. We have enthusiastically leveraged the support of international partners like the Oxford University, UK, and the Thomas Jefferson University, USA for vaccine research with Indian entities, both public and private," he said.

The minister concluded his speech by honouring the courage and sacrifice of numerous corona warriors across the globe, who have been at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19.

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