Health Ministry Says Ready To Roll Out Covid-19 Vaccine Within 10 Days Of Emergency Approval
Representative image: A heath worker draws the ‘Sputnik V’ covid vaccine from a vial during a trial in Moscow, Russia. (Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg)

Health Ministry Says Ready To Roll Out Covid-19 Vaccine Within 10 Days Of Emergency Approval


The Health Ministry on Tuesday said it is prepared to roll out Covid-19 vaccine within 10 days from date of emergency use authorisation, which was issued on Jan. 3, but noted that the final decision lies with the government.

Addressing a press briefing, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said healthcare workers and frontline workers need not register themselves as their database has been populated on to the Co-WIN vaccine delivery management system in a bulk manner.

"Based on the feedback of dry-run, the Health Ministry is ready to introduce Covid-19 vaccine within 10 days from date of emergency use authorisation," he said.

However, while responding to a question on rollout, Bhushan said the final decision will be taken by the government.

The country's drugs regulator on Sunday granted restricted emergency use approval to Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield and also to indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech.

Bhushan said Co-WIN system is made in India and for the world, and whichever country wants to use it, the Indian government will actively help.

Also read: Serum Institute, Bharat Biotech Pledge To Work Together For Covid-19 Vaccine Rollout

NITI Aayog member Dr. VK Paul said an optimistic scenario is emerging with the pandemic situation in India consistently improving in terms of active cases and new deaths declining.

"Let's hope this trend will continue. In terms of the new U.K. mutant issue, this mutation has entered this country and 71 have been isolated which shows our capacity to mount that kind of a scientific investigation. But at the same time we have not seen the emergence of any untoward cluster in the country as of now which is reassuring so far," Paul said.

On the two vaccines that have been granted approval for restricted emergency use by the DCGI, Paul reiterated that in granting this permission and authorisation all scientific and statutory requirements have been met and regulatory norms followed.

While healthcare and frontline workers will not be required to register themselves, Bhushan said when they would come to the population priority group, there the provision of registration and editing of data would come.

Also read: India’s Vaccine Nationalism Is a Global Risk

"Then the system electronically allows session allocation...the beneficiary has been vaccinated this will also be digitally captured and he would be given this information digitally that when he has to come for the next dose. They will also get an acknowledgement, a unique health ID would also be generated," he said.

Bhushan said Co-WIN will have a provision that one can create a unique health ID and you can keep the acknowledgement in digi locker which is free or on your phone.

"In case of an adverse event, to ensure its real time reporting there is a provision in Co-WIN vaccine delivery management system," he said.

Bhushan further said that Co-WIN has the facility of automated session allocation, Aadhaar authentication to prevent malpractice, creation of Unique Health ID for willing beneficiaries, reporting and tracking of adverse events following immunization, if any, SMSes in 12 languages to guide beneficiaries and vaccinators, QR code-based vaccination certificate issued after all doses, DigiLocker integrated for data retrieval and storing QR code-based certificate, 24x7 Helpline including IT professionals.

Giving Covid-19 figures, Bhushan said the average Covid-19 recovered cases exceeded average daily new cases for last five weeks.

Also read: Private Sector Should Be an Ally in India’s Big Vaccine Push

"Daily positivity rate of covid-19 is continuously declining and has been less than 3 per cent from December 23, 2020 to January 5, 2021," he said.

Bhushan said of the total active Covid-19 cases presently, 43.96% patients are in healthcare facilities, while 56.04% are in home isolation.

"India's cumulative Covid-19 positivity rate has declined to 5.87%; last week positivity rate was recorded at 1.97%. Overall burden on healthcare infrastructure in country on account of Covid-19 has declined appreciably," he said.

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