India / How is govt preparing for COVID-19 vaccination in the country?

Zoom News : Dec 16, 2020, 09:13 AM
New Delhi: The Union Health Ministry on Tuesday said that India is doing relatively well in its fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, besides a strategy for COVID-19 vaccine storage and its distribution is almost ready.

Addressing a press briefing, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that 29,000 cold-chain points, 240 walk-in coolers, 70 walk-in freezers, 45,000 ice-lined refrigerators, 41,000 deep freezers and 300 solar refrigerators will be used for this purpose. Bhushan added that all these equipment have already reached different states.

He, however, cautioned about the adverse effects as well, saying that such adverse effects are primarily seen in children and pregnant women after vaccination. Bhushan also referred to international cases to make his point, saying that India can`t deny the chances of adverse events when vaccination for Covid-19 begins. 

"The nations where immunisation has already started, particularly in the UK, adverse events did take place on the very first day," he said. Bhushan urged the states and UTs to prepare for such scenarios.

He further said that the number of cases per million population in this country continues to be among the lowest in the world. While the global average remains 9,000, the number of cases in India is 7,178 per million population.

Meanwhile, VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, acknowledged how Delhi`s Covid-19 surge has been brought under control and congratulated the government for that. 

He sternly warned against taking this lightly, adding that the curve can go wrong as well.

"There are some states where we still have concerns," he said, urging the government and citizens of Uttarakhand, Nagaland and Himachal Pradesh to make "every effort" to bring the current situation there under control.

"This week, the Drugs Controller General of India granted clearance for clinical trials of another vaccine candidate from India," he said. Genoa company, he said, with the help of the Centre`s Department of Biotechnology, has developed a vaccine.

The technology used in it is akin to Pfizer. However, it can be maintained at normal cold-chain conditions, in a normal fridge, unlike Pfizer, Paul added. He asserted that as of today, six vaccines are undergoing clinical trials in India.