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COVID vaccine delivery system should be developed on the lines of conduct of elections, says Modi
New Delhi, October 17, 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the COVID-19 vaccine delivery system should be developed on the lines of the conduct of elections involving all levels of governments and citizen groups.
Reviewing the COVID-19 pandemic situation in the country and the preparedness of vaccine delivery, distribution, and administration, the Prime Minister said Indian scientists and research teams were collaborating and strengthening the research capacities in neighbouring countries.
He said that there had been a clear decline in daily cases, growth rate and the number of deaths over the past three weeks. However, people should maintain COVID appropriate behaviour like social distancing and self-restraint in the coming festival season, he stressed.
The meeting was attended by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, the Principal Secretary to PM, Member (Health) NITI Aayog, Principal Scientific Adviser, senior scientists, officers of PMO, and other Departments of the Government.
Modi said three vaccines were in an advanced stage of development in India. Of these, two were in Phase II and one in Phase-III. Indian scientists and research teams were collaborating and strengthening the research capacities in neighbouring countries, namely, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
There were further requests from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Qatar and Bhutan for clinical trials. To help the global community, the Prime Minister said, “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.”
National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC) in consultation with State Governments and all relevant stakeholders have prepared and presented a detailed blueprint of vaccine storage, distribution, and administration. The Expert Group in consultation with the States was working actively on vaccine prioritization and distribution of the vaccine.
The Prime Minister said, keeping in view the geographical span and diversity of the country, the access to the vaccine should be ensured speedily. 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 vails, syringes etc.
“We should make use of experience of successful conduct of elections and disaster management in the country. Similarly, vaccine delivery and administration systems should be put in place. This should involve the participation of States/UTs/District Level functionaries, civil society organisations, volunteers, citizens, and experts from all necessary domains. The entire process should have a strong IT backbone and the system should be designed in such a manner to have a lasting value to our healthcare system,” he added.
Two pan-India studies on the Genome of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19 virus) in India conducted by ICMR and the Department of Bio-Technology (DBT) suggest that the virus is genetically stable and there is no major mutation in the virus, he said.
The Prime Minister cautioned against developing complacency because of the declining rate of infection. He insisted on continued social distancing and COVID-appropriate behaviour such as wearing the mask, regularly washing hands and sanitation etc. especially in the wake of the coming festival season.