Serum Institute of India is conducting phase III trials for AstraZeneca and Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine.
If the trails are successful, the possibility of vaccination opens up. (Photo source: IE)
Everyone is eagerly waiting for the coronavirus vaccine, but 1 crore healthcare and frontline workers will be given priority in the initial phase, said NITI Aayog member Dr V K Paul, who is also the head of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration. The vaccine will be prioritised on the basis of “those who are at greater risk of mortality,” Dr Paul was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
Dr Paul also asserted that there are enough resources for vaccine distribution.
“Testing of three vaccines is underway in India. Two additional vaccines were recently given a green signal for the trial. However, trails are yet to start. But we already have three vaccines that are being subjected to human trials,” Dr Paul said. “Two of them are indigenous vaccines – Cadila and ICMR Bharat. They are in the final stages of phase II and the outcome will be soon available and then the trail of phase III will begin.”
Meanwhile, Serum Institute of India is conducting phase III trials for AstraZeneca and Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine. “This vaccine is in the most advanced stage in terms of research and development. If the trails are successful, the possibility of vaccination opens up.”
But Dr Paul cautioned about taking the vaccine development for granted. He said that despite hopes of having a vaccine soon, we must continue to follow the important strategies of social distancing norms, wearing masks, testing-tracking-tracing, containment, and hospital preparedness.
When asked about making the availability of coronavirus vaccine free, Dr Paul said “it is not going to be available in abundance during the initial stage in any country as we are at zero… this process is going to take months.”
“This is why it is important to prioritise vaccination in the initial phases and that will be done on the basis of those having an excessive risk of mortality. There will no problem with resources for providing the vaccine to Indian people.”
“Health and frontline workers will be our top priority because we don’t know how far we have to…therefore it is very important to protect our health system,” he said.