Prepared to roll out vaccine within 10 days of emergency-use approval: Health ministry
With the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) approving the restricted emergency use of two coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccines on Sunday (January 3) and state governments preparing to inoculate their residents, the Union health ministry said on Tuesday that it was prepared to roll out a vaccine within 10 days of emergency-use authorisation approvals.
Addressing a news briefing on Tuesday evening, Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan said, “We are prepared to roll out vaccine within 10 days of emergency use authorisation approvals. The final call will be taken by the government.”
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Bhushan pointed out that there were four primary vaccine stores called GMSD (Medical Stores Organisation) situated in Karnal, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata and 37 vaccine stores across India adding that they store vaccines in bulk and further distribute them.
“The facility including the number of vaccines stored and temperature trackers is monitored digitally. We have this facility for over a decade in the country,” he added.
As healthcare, frontline workers have been identified as priority groups for inoculation, according to government guidelines, the health secretary said that these people would not be required to register themselves as beneficiaries as their data has been populated on the Co-WIN vaccine delivery management system in a bulk manner.
The Co-WIN app, which was introduced by the Centre, allows people to self-register themselves for getting a vaccine shot. The app is in the pre-product stage and data of healthcare workers is being uploaded as of now. Over 7.5 million beneficiaries were registered during the nationwide dry run on January 2.
Bhushan at the beginning of the briefing had said that the total active coronavirus cases in India were less than 250,000 and were continuing to decline adding that the positivity stood at 1.97 per cent. On Tuesday, the country added 16,375 fresh cases- which have been the lowest in more than six months- and 201 related deaths in the last 24 hours which pushed the overall tally to over 10.3 million, according to the health ministry’s update at 8am. Nearly 9.98 million people have recovered from the disease so far and the national recovery rate is 96.32 per cent of the total caseload.