New Delhi, Nov 19 (IANS) The Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday informed that the Centre has modified an electronic network to monitor the dosage of Covid vaccines, vaccinators and geographical location of the vaccine recipients.
He said that the central government has modified an existing vaccine intelligence network to monitor its appropriate usage and distribution.
While speaking at the event organised by women wing of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), Harsh Vardhan said that a meticulous plan is underway to implement the vaccine administration process and in that regard, the government has developed Covid Vaccine Intelligence Network (COVIN).
“The vaccine network was already used in universal immunization program. Now, we have modified it to an extent that it could track the dosage of vaccine, its temperature in the storage unit, recipient of the vaccine, and even the time and location when and where the dose administered,” the minister said.
On the question of prioritisation, Vardhan said that tentative guidelines have been formed to administer the vaccine to priority groups keeping the scientific approach as the ground. He also reiterated that India will procure upto 500 million doses of vaccines by July 2021.
The government has divided the prioritization under four groups. The first are healthcare workers, then people above 65 years of age followed by people aged between 50 and 65 and lastly, people below 50 years with underlying conditions.
“First of all, the priority has been chosen on the basis of scientific and medical grounds. Because we are a country of 135 crore people. For such large numbers of people, nobody can arrange large quantities of doses of vaccines in a single go. Hence, with discussions with the health experts, we have formed the priority groups,” Vardhan added.
He also hoped that 2021 to be a better year than 2020 for everyone.
Currently, five vaccine candidates are currently undergoing clinical trials in India and are in different stages of trials. These include vaccines developed by Oxford University – AstraZeneca, Bharat Biotech, Cadila, Biological E – Baylor College of Medicine and Gamaleya Research Institute, Moscow.
Bharat Biotech Ltd and Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) began phase-III trials of Covaxin. Serum Institute of India (SII), which inked deal with Oxford-Astrazeneca for manufacturing their vaccine candidate has finished enrolment for Phase-III Covishield vaccine, supported by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
SII has already manufactured 40 million doses of the vaccine, under the at-risk manufacturing and stockpiling license from Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI). Meanwhile, Ahmedabad-based Cadila Healthcare is currently finishing phase-II trials of its vaccine candidate.