On Sunday the Government indicated that around 24 crore individuals will likely be immunized with a double dose of COVID-19 vaccine by next July.
The states have been asked to prepare a ‘priority population groups’ list that would include the frontline health workers- both government and private sector doctors, nurses, paramedics, sanitary staff, and others involved in the tracing, testing, and treatment of patients.
Union Health Minister Harshwardhan said, “The Centre is working on plans for building capacities in human resources, training, supervision, etc. on a massive scale and roughly estimates to receive and utilize 400-500 million doses covering approximately 20-25 crore people by July 2021. All this is under various stages of finalization.”
One out of three vaccines tested by India has reached phase-3. The vaccine is named Coveshield. It is developed by Oxford University and pharma major AstraZeneca, is being tested in India by the Serum Institute of India (SII), Pune. The SII has committed to producing 200million vaccine doses for India and other low and middle-income countries.
Vaccines usually take years to be tested and released but governments and regulators worldwide have allowed accelerated procedures to speed-up the availability of vaccines.
Dr Vardhan added, “People tire out when they have to constantly take precautions. Some of them also give up taking precautions for various reasons. My message to everyone is that we must all diligently take precautions,”.
India can conduct 1.5 million tests a day with a million tests, on average, conducted during the weekend. There were 101,782 deaths, 9.3 lakh active cases and so far, 6.5 million had tested positive for the virus since March.