A delivery and administration system of COVID-19 vaccines should be developed making use of the experience of successful conduct of elections and disaster management in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday (October 17).
The entire process should involve the participation of state to district-level functionaries, civil society organisations, volunteers, citizens, and experts from all necessary domains and have a strong IT backbone, according to a statement by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
The prime minister made the remark during a review meeting on the pandemic situation and the preparedness of vaccine delivery, distribution and administration, also attended by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, senior scientists, bureaucrats and others.
He further directed that keeping in view the geographical span and diversity of the country, the access to the vaccine should be ensured speedily. The PM also stressed that every step in the logistics, delivery, and administration should be put in place rigorously.
“It must include advanced planning of cold storage chains, distribution network, monitoring mechanism, advance assessment, and preparation of ancillary equipment required, such as vials, syringes etc,” the statement said.
Noting a steady decline in the daily cases and growth rate, he also cautioned against any complacency at the decline and called for keeping up the efforts to contain the pandemic.
He insisted on continued social distancing and COVID-appropriate behaviour like wearing of mask, regularly washing hands and sanitation, especially in wake of the upcoming festival season. In a statement, the PMO further said that three vaccines are in advanced stages of development in India, out of which two are in Phase II and one is in Phase-III.
It further said Indian Scientists and research teams are collaborating and strengthening the research capacities in neighbouring countries such as Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
There are further requests from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Qatar and Bhutan for clinical trials in their countries. To help the global community, the prime minister further directed that we should not limit our efforts to our immediate neighbourhood but also reach out to the entire world in providing vaccines, medicines and IT platforms for vaccine delivery system.
India’s COVID-19 caseload has gone past 74 lakh, while the number of people who have recuperated from the disease has crossed 65 lakh pushing the recovery rate to 87.78 per cent. The coronavirus death toll climbed to 1,12,998, official data showed at 8 am.