Prime Minister Narendra Modi(ANI photo)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi(ANI photo)

Covid vaccine will be in India within weeks: PM Modi

India is set to get a Covid-19 vaccine within weeks, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday while briefing political leaders on the preparations for “cheap and safe” Made in India vaccines, assuring them that immunisation would start as soon as scientists give a go-ahead.
By Saubhadra Chatterji | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 05, 2020 03:24 AM IST

India is set to get a Covid-19 vaccine within weeks, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday while briefing political leaders on the preparations for “cheap and safe” Made in India vaccines, assuring them that immunisation would start as soon as scientists give a go-ahead.

“There are 8 potential vaccines at different stages of trials and their production will be in India. Three indigenous vaccines are also at different levels of trials. Experts believe it will not be a long wait for a Covid vaccine. It is believed that in the next few weeks, a Covid vaccine will be ready. As soon as scientists give the green signal, immunisation will start in India,” the PM said, virtually addressing an all-party meeting.

Modi’s remarks, two days after UK’s authorisation for Pfizer’s dose, was seen by some as an indication that emergency approval may be fast-tracked for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which is being produced by the Serum Institute of India. The other two local vaccines are unlikely to be ready in that time frame: Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin has started phase 3 trails but the results aren’t out yet; Zydus Cadila plans to start final trails in December.

On Saturday (November 28), SII CEO Adar Poonawalla said that SII could apply for emergency approval of the vaccine within two weeks.

Data from final trials in the UK and Brazil have shown the vaccine to be between 62% and 90% effective, depending on the dosage.

The Prime Minister assured the political leaders that Indian vaccines will be cheap but safe. He insisted on dispelling rumours for they are “never in public interest or national interest” and, for the first time, announced the priority list of beneficiaries.

“A few days ago, I had very successful talks with scientists involved in Made in India vaccines. Our scientists have high level of confidence and they are hopeful about success. We are hearing names of some foreign vaccines in the market. But world is looking for the cheap but safest vaccine. And that’s why it’s natural for the world to also look at India.”

At the HT leadership summit Poonawala said the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine could become available for the general public by April-May next year and is likely to cost around Rs 500-600 for a dose for the general public. He added that the vaccine could cost less, at $3-4 (Rs 220-295), when sold to the government.

Officials involved in the planning maintained that while indigenous vaccines are preferred candidates, procuring other vaccines can’t be ruled out as everything depends on the trial results. “But as of now, we are hopeful of immunising 290 million people or the first three priority groups with Made in India vaccines,” said a senior official familiar with the matter.

Modi made it clear that India will utilise its existing universal immunisation network to administer the vaccines. “India has both vaccine distribution expertise and capacity; we are better than other countries in these areas. We have a vast and experienced vaccination network and we will exploit it to the hilt.” On Tuesday, HT reported that India will use the cold storage facilities and 1.5 lakh vaccinators from this network.

The PM also announced that in the first leg (to be spread over first six months) priority in immunisation will be given to health care workers, frontline workers and senior citizens with co-morbidities as per the suggestions of the states. But he also added that current anti-Covid protocols, especially social distancing and masks, must be continued.

All leaders who spoke at the meeting supported the government’s efforts in containing the pandemic and offered help to tackle any misinformation. They suggested strengthening of cold chains in remote areas and taking states on board. Modi assured the leaders that he has kept state chief ministers on board and added that the Centre and states are working together in the area of vaccine distribution. He said that efforts are on to augment cold chain infrastructure, and that some new schemes and programmes have been launched to this end -- a reference to amendments to the CSR rules allowing companies to spend their CSR funds for vaccine development and distribution.

The Companies Act requires firms with a net worth of Rs 500 crore or more, or turnover of Rs 1,000 crore or more, or net profit of Rs 5 crore or more in the immediately preceding financial year, to mandatorily spend 2% of their average net profit of the preceding three years on CSR.

The PM lauded the Indian way of tackling the pandemic and said on several parameters such number of daily tests or death rates, India has fared better than advanced nations. India’s current case fatality rate is 1.4%, compared to the world’s 2.3%. “India’s fight against Covid reflects the ardent willpower of each Indian. We have fought better than many developed countries with advanced medical infrastructure. Our self-discipline, courage and resources have been incredible during this entire war. We have not thought only about our own people, but also helped other countries,” Modi said. But he also said that even as we are at the doorstep of vaccines, “the same people’s participation, the same scientific approach and coordination is needed”.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
“This is the first case in Barwani under the new legislation,” Barwani police station in-charge Rajesh Yadav said.(Representative image)
“This is the first case in Barwani under the new legislation,” Barwani police station in-charge Rajesh Yadav said.(Representative image)

28-yr-old held in MP under new religious conversion law

By HT Correspondent, Barwani
PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 05:08 AM IST
“On the basis of a written complaint filed by a 22- year-old woman, a 28-year-old man was arrested on Monday on charges of rape and under provisions of the Freedom of Religion ordinance,” Barwani police station in-charge Rajesh Yadav said.
Close
In a separate decision, the ministry waived of the 75%-mark eligibility criteria in class 12 exams for students seeking admission to central technical and engineering schools via JEE (Main).(HT Photo)
In a separate decision, the ministry waived of the 75%-mark eligibility criteria in class 12 exams for students seeking admission to central technical and engineering schools via JEE (Main).(HT Photo)

Candidates to get more questions to choose from in JEE and NEET

By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 04:56 AM IST
“The syllabus for JEE (Main 2021) to remain same as the previous year. But students will be given the choice to answer 75 questions (25 questions each in physics, chemistry & mathematics) out of 90 questions (30 questions each in physics, chemistry & mathematics),” the ministry said.
Close
Former executive editor of NDTV Nidhi Razdan's case would be transferred to the cyber cell-specialised unit, said a senior cop, preferring anonymity.(Yogesh Kumar/Hindustan Times )
Former executive editor of NDTV Nidhi Razdan's case would be transferred to the cyber cell-specialised unit, said a senior cop, preferring anonymity.(Yogesh Kumar/Hindustan Times )

Nidhi Razdan files complaint over online fraud

By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 04:14 AM IST
Nidhi Razdan’s counsel Shri Singh said a complaint was filed at Greater Kailash police station on Monday. Singh said that they had earlier approached the Srinagar cops but were advised to contact Delhi Police since it was an issue related to the jurisdiction.
Close
Foreign secretary Harsh Shringla talked of Indo-Pacific joint effort a workshop to ensure the region remains open and peaceful.(PTI)
Foreign secretary Harsh Shringla talked of Indo-Pacific joint effort a workshop to ensure the region remains open and peaceful.(PTI)

Harsh Shringla calls for joint efforts to ensure peace in Indo-Pacific

By Rezaul H Laskar, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 04:01 AM IST
“An Indo-Pacific guided by norms and governed by rules, with freedom of navigation, open connectivity, and respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all states, is an article of faith for India,” Shringla told a workshop organised by the ORF and the embassies of France and Japan.
Close
Members of Supreme Court-constituted committee (L to R) Ashok Gulati, Anil Ghanwat and Pramod Kumar Joshi interact with the media in New Delhi on Tuesday. (HT photo)
Members of Supreme Court-constituted committee (L to R) Ashok Gulati, Anil Ghanwat and Pramod Kumar Joshi interact with the media in New Delhi on Tuesday. (HT photo)

SC panel on farm laws holds first meet, invites farmers for talks

By Zia Haq, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 03:43 AM IST
The committee will begin its consultations with farm unions on January 21. “Invitations have been sent to unions which are both pro- and anti-farm laws,” Anil Ghanwat, a member of the committee told HT.
Close
To ensure fewer doses are wasted each day, many centres started walk-in vaccination from Tuesday.(PTI)
To ensure fewer doses are wasted each day, many centres started walk-in vaccination from Tuesday.(PTI)

1,000 vaccine doses wasted in Delhi so far: Health officials

By Sweta Goswami, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 20, 2021 04:43 AM IST
Teams from a number of vaccination centres and health officials overseeing the city’s inoculation drive said at least 1,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccines have been wasted in Delhi so far. Health officials attributed the wastage mostly to fewer people coming up to get the jab.
Close
On Tuesday, the farmers also shared the route map of their proposed tractor rally and said that the parade will touch all the borders connecting Delhi with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.(PTI)
On Tuesday, the farmers also shared the route map of their proposed tractor rally and said that the parade will touch all the borders connecting Delhi with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.(PTI)

Police urge farmers to shift R-Day tractor rally to KMP e-way

By karn pratap singh, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 02:31 AM IST
While special commissioner (intelligence) Deependra Pathak led the police team from Delhi, seven leaders of Sanyukt Kisan Morcha, including Balbir Singh Rajewal and Darshan Pal, represented the farmers. Since no consensus could be reached on issue, another meeting has been scheduled on Wednesday.
Close
Rahul Gandhi said that China has a “clear strategic vision” but India doesn’t and China has twice tested India in Doklam and Ladakh(Sanjeev Verma)
Rahul Gandhi said that China has a “clear strategic vision” but India doesn’t and China has twice tested India in Doklam and Ladakh(Sanjeev Verma)

Rahul Gandhi says India ‘owned’ by a few; Centre hits back

By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 01:40 AM IST
In a no-holds-barred attack against the ruling dispensation a day before the tent round of talks between farmers and the Centre, Rahul Gandhi compared the alleged monopolies that he said were being created with the British Raj.
Close
The truck ran over the construction workers on the Kim-Mandvi road shortly after midnight(PTI)
The truck ran over the construction workers on the Kim-Mandvi road shortly after midnight(PTI)

14 migrant workers, a yr-old infant crushed by truck in Surat

By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 01:27 AM IST
The incident took place near Kosamba village, around 60 km from Surat, when the truck driver apparently lost control over the vehicle after hitting a sugarcane laden tractor. The deceased included six men, eight women and a baby girl.
Close
The IAF said the two sides would “put into practice operational experience gained across terrains and spectrums and endeavour to exchange ideas and best practices to enhance interoperability”.
The IAF said the two sides would “put into practice operational experience gained across terrains and spectrums and endeavour to exchange ideas and best practices to enhance interoperability”.

India, France air exercise to kick off in Rajasthan today

By Rahul Singh, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 01:01 AM IST
“As part of Indo-French defence cooperation, the IAF and French Air and Space Force have held six editions of exercises named ‘Garuda’, the latest being in 2019 at Air Force Base Mont-de-Marsan, France,” the IAF said on the eve of the exercise.
Close
India’s grants are part of plans to provide up to 10 million doses of both Covidshield and Covaxin, the vaccine made by Bharat Biotech, to friendly countries.(PTI)
India’s grants are part of plans to provide up to 10 million doses of both Covidshield and Covaxin, the vaccine made by Bharat Biotech, to friendly countries.(PTI)

India begins vaccine export from today

By Rezaul H Laskar, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 12:46 AM IST
The external affairs ministry said supplies under grant assistance to Bhutan, the Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles will begin from Wednesday in line with India’s commitment to use its vaccine production and delivery capacity to help the world fight Covid-19.
Close
Police said six men have been arrested for the murder.(Representational Photo/Getty Images)
Police said six men have been arrested for the murder.(Representational Photo/Getty Images)

TMC worker shot dead in north Bengal, another leader dies of heart attack

PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 12:06 AM IST
  • The family of the man who was shot dead alleged that he was a victim of infighting in the local unit of the Trinamool Congress.
Close
Adverse reactions can be caused by allergies or underlying medical conditions and are not necessarily causally linked to vaccines.(Bloomberg Photo )
Adverse reactions can be caused by allergies or underlying medical conditions and are not necessarily causally linked to vaccines.(Bloomberg Photo )

Covaxin recipients under stricter watch, says Centre

By Rhythma Kaul, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 20, 2021 03:54 AM IST
Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan said Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin vaccine recipients are being actively followed for any adverse reactions. Officials also drew a distinction between Covishield, which finished late-stage trials abroad, and Covaxin, which is currently in phase 3 trials.
Close
**EDS: FILE PHOTO** New Delhi: In this undated Aug. 31, 2005 file photo, renowned oncologist and chairperson of the Adyar Cancer Institute Dr V Shanta. Shanta passed away at the age of 93 on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. (PTI Photo)(PTI01_19_2021_000038B)(PTI)
**EDS: FILE PHOTO** New Delhi: In this undated Aug. 31, 2005 file photo, renowned oncologist and chairperson of the Adyar Cancer Institute Dr V Shanta. Shanta passed away at the age of 93 on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. (PTI Photo)(PTI01_19_2021_000038B)(PTI)

‘To her, patients always came first’: Cancer care pioneer dies at 93

By Divya Chandrababu, Chennai
PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 12:02 AM IST
V Shanta was on the WHO Advisory Committee on Cancer till March 2005. She was a recipient of several national and international awards including the Ramon Magsasay award for public service, Padma Shri (1986), Padma Bhushan (2006) and Padma Vibhushan (2016).
Close
With 4,936 beneficiaries receiving the shot, Delhi saw the highest turnout in terms of absolute numbers on Tuesday.(HT FILE)
With 4,936 beneficiaries receiving the shot, Delhi saw the highest turnout in terms of absolute numbers on Tuesday.(HT FILE)

Senior docs told to get vaccinated to instil confidence

By Abhishek Dey, Anonna Dutt, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 20, 2021 12:35 AM IST
Hospitals that have consistently seen low turnout, like Guru Teg Bahadur hospital and Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality hospital , asked its senior faculty members to come forward and take the shot.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP