The Centre estimates to receive and utilise 40-50 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccine covering 20-25 crore people by July next year
Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Sunday said the government plans to vaccinate about 25 crore people against novel coronavirus by July next year. He said priority would be given to health workers engaged in COVID-19 management in getting inoculated and asserted the Centre would ensure fair and equitable distribution of vaccines, once they are ready. The union health ministry has asked states to submit a list of priority groups by October end, particularly the health workers, who will receive vaccine shots.
The Centre estimates to receive and utilise 40-50 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccine covering 20-25 crore people by July next year. During an interaction on social media platforms, Dr Vardhan said vaccine procurement would be done centrally with each consignment tracked real-time until delivery to ensure it reaches those who need it the most and there is no black-marketing. The list of frontline health workers will include both government as well as private-sector doctors, nurses, paramedics, sanitary staff, ASHA workers, surveillance officers and many other occupational categories who are involved in tracing, testing and treatment of patients.
“The Centre is also working on plans for building capacities in human resources, training, supervision and others on a massive scale and roughly estimates to receive and utilise 400-500 million doses covering approximately 20-25 crore people by July 2021. All this is under various stages of finalisation,” he said. According to him, vaccines will be distributed as per pre-decided priority and in a programmed manner.
Sharing his views on single-dose versus double-dose vaccines, he accepted that for quick control of a pandemic, it is desirable to have a single-dose vaccine. “However, it is often difficult to achieve desired levels of immune protection using a single dose. Two-dose vaccines are suitable for attaining the desired immunogenicity as the first one gives some immune protection, and the second one augments it further,” he added.
India on Sunday recorded a total of 65.49 lakh cases with 75, 829 fresh detections, as per health ministry data. The death toll crossed one lakh with 940 new fatalities taking overall deaths to 1, 01, 782. At the same time, the number of recovered patients crossed 55 lakh with 82, 260 persons discharged from medical care. The country still has 9.37 lakh active cases. The fatality rate is 1.55 per cent and the national recovery rate is 84.13 per cent.