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Centre Has Sufficient Financial Resources To Procure 400-500 Million Doses Of COVID-19 Vaccine: Health Ministry

Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary informed that India is providing Direct Financial Assistance to designated coronavirus vaccine manufacturers to assist in Research & Development

Centre Has Sufficient Financial Resources To Procure 400-500 Million Doses Of COVID-19 Vaccine: Health Ministry
Highlights
  • India's two indigenous vaccines' phase 2 is nearly completed: NITI Aayog
  • The results of phase 2 trial will be available by early November: Dr Paul
  • Dr Paul informed that vaccine preparedness is being done to reach masses

New Delhi: The Central Government has sufficient financial resources available to procure at least 400-500 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, said Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary on Tuesday (October 13). Responding to a query about COVID procurement by next year, Mr Bhushan informed that various countries in the world have explored different options for extending financial support.

Also Read: Group Of Ministers Mulls Strategy For COVID Vaccine Availability, Distribution By July 2021

“The first one is– advanced market commitments by different countries. The second one is– providing financial help to vaccine manufacturers in terms of conducting their Research & Development (R&D). This financial support may not come directly from the government but from financial institutions. These are some of the international models.”

Speaking about India’s strategy, Mr Bhushan said: “In India, through Department of Bio-Technology (DBT)– Direct Financial Assistance is being provided already to designated vaccine manufacturers to assist in R&D including presently pre-clinical trials and may get extended clinical trials also. The other options are also on the table under active consideration of the government.”

Also Read: “Respiratory Viruses Known To Thrive During Winters,” Warns Health Minister In His Weekly Address, Here Are Other Takeaways

Going ahead for the price of single and double dose coronavirus vaccine respectively is still evolving, said the official.

We have seen that in an extremely dynamic situation as the vaccine proves its safety and efficacy– whatever figure is bandied around is just a figure. So any indicative price for a single dose or a double dose vaccine becomes a plausible figure once the vaccine has been able to demonstrate its safety and efficacy,” said Mr Bhushan.

“Once safety and efficacy is proven by multiple vaccines, then the prices will come down drastically. So, therefore, at present we are not in a hazard, a guess of the total outgo going up to July,” he added.

Mr Bhushan referred to the statement of the Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan that Government has planned to receive and utilise 400-500 million COVID doses. For this, states have been advised to send a detail of priority population group by the end of October.

However, at the present moment– sufficient financial resources are available with the government for going for this kind of procurement, said Mr Bhushan.

Also Read: Ramping Up Cold Storage Facilities Critical As India Preps For COVID-19 Vaccine: Experts

Informing about the preparation of a cold chain for the storage of vaccines, Mr Bhushan said, “There is a national experts committee for vaccine administration. The committee’s sub-group looks for the requirement of a cold chain for storage of vaccines. It has already mapped the existing cold chain that presently being utilised under the immunisation program of the government. And it has also made the projection of additional cold chain that will be required. Presently, that group is now engaged in mapping the private sector facilities with minor modifications they could be converted to serve the need for supplementing for cold chain equipment.”

India’s two indigenous vaccine’s phase 2 is nearly completed. Early November, we can have the results. The other vaccine is Serum-Oxford vaccine– undergoing phase 3 trial. Progress is good and by the end of November, we may have results. Vaccine preparedness is parallelly being done to reach masses, Dr VK Paul, Member Health, NITI Aayog said.

Also Read: Health Ministry Launches Web Portal For Updates On COVID-19 Vaccine Development

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.) 

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.  

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