Covid-19 vaccine updates: Punjab CM to take first shot of vaccine in state
Even though Covid-19 cases continue to dip across the country, Centre is busy in drawing a roadmap to ensure last mile vaccine delivery to every citizen of the nation.
The prime minister held a meeting with Gennova Biopharma, Biological E and Dr. Reddy’s on Monday. These three pharmaceutical companies are involved in developing an indigenous Covid-19 vaccine. PM Narendra Modi had also visited Zydus Cadila’s manufacturing facility near Ahmedabad, Bharat Biotech’s vaccine manufacturing facility at Genome valley at Hyderabad and Serum Institute of India (SII) campus at Pune on Saturday to review India’s preparedness.
Here are the latest updates on India’s Covid-19 vaccine development plans and its rollout -
• Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh will take the first shot of the Covid-19 vaccine in Punjab, ANI reported. Singh made this announcement on Wednesday when he was holding a virtual cabinet meeting. He will become the second lawmaker after Haryana minister Anil Vij who was administered a trial dose of Bharat Biotech’s vaccine in November.
• ICMR-NICED on Wednesday started the phase III regulatory trials of Bharat Biotech’s coronavirus vaccine candidate Covaxin in Kolkata. Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, who inaugurated the beginning of the Phase III trials, expressed hope that the trials will be conducted smoothly. The trial will involve 26,000 volunteers from all over the nation.
• The health ministry on Tuesday said that the ministry never said that it is not planning to inoculate every single person in the country. Health secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Tuesday said that there were no discussions on vaccinating the entire country.
• ICMR director Balram Bhargava said that the Covid-19 vaccine drive will primarily aim to ‘break the chain of transmission’, as reported by news agency PTI. He said, “Our purpose is to break the chain of virus transmission. If we are able to vaccinate a critical mass of people and break the chain of transmission, then we may not have to vaccinate the entire population.”
• Cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba met health secretaries, chief secretaries and other senior officials of the states and union territories to discuss the rollout of vaccines when available. He has also asked officials to develop a database of groups of people who will be prioritised for inoculation once the vaccine is made available. Government is planning to inoculate an estimated amount of 1 crore frontline health workers with the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
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- The chaos and violence have raised questions about the future of the two-month-long agitation of farm unions.
- Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in a letter sent to her Indian counterpart, conveyed her greetings.
- Tuesday's decision to operate all trains comes a day after a meeting to resume local train services for all passengers was chaired by Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray.
- Khattar said that unsavoury events on Tuesday deserved to be condemned in the strongest words.
- Governor RN Ravi said 'politics by gun' has stonewalled efforts to resolve the Naga political issue.
- No details were shared about the meeting, although a functionary said the party sees similarities in Tuesday’s protests with last year's anti-CAA agitation.
- Putting the onus of Tuesday's events on the government and questioning it for not accepting the farmers demands, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said it was not right on the government's part to create a facade of talks and neither conceding to their demands nor proposing any solution.
- Sasikala was sentenced to four-year imprisonment in February 2017 in the ₹66 crore disproportionate assets case along with her sister-in-law J Ilavarasi and former Tamil Nadu chief minister late Jayalalithaa's foster son VN Sudhakaran.