Centre prepared for COVID-19 vaccine rollout inside eight days

Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 5

The Centre on Tuesday said it was ready to roll out the vaccine within a period of ten days from the time the regulator granted emergency authorisation to Covishield and COVAXIN.

That translates to a potential rollout within the next eight days since the EUA was granted on January 3, and ten days from then would come to January 13.

“We are ready to roll out the vaccines within ten days of grant of EUA which was recommended on January 2 and granted on January 3. The exact date of rollout will be decided by the government,” Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said today.

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He said the pilot dry run in four states followed by a national trial went off successfully with no major operational challenges for Co-WIN, the digital platform the government will use for vaccine delivery with one vaccination team consisting of five people trained to administer the jab and address adverse events following immunisation.

The government also said there was no export ban on the approved vaccines with both Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech, the producers of Covishield and COVAXIN today using a joint statement saying vaccines are global public goods and they would stand by their commitment to supply vaccines globally.

The government said 30 crore priority health groups would be vaccinated by July and of them one crore health workers and two crore frontline workers would not need to self register on Co-WIN as their bulk data is available and uploaded already.

So far as the 27 crore priority groups consisting of 50 plus and those under 50 with co morbid conditions goes, a government committee is working on criteria around which co morbidities to be included to determine beneficiary criteria.

The committee report is expected in two days.

The government will administer free vaccines to health and frontline workers.

Asked when the vaccines would be available for general populations, chairman of vaccine task force VK Paul said “right now the public health objective is to vaccinate the most vulnerable and prevent deaths”.

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