New Delhi: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Sunday assured that his government is working towards “fair and equitable” distribution of Coronavirus vaccine after they are ready. Elaborating on the government’s plan, the health minister asserted that they are looking to provide vaccines to around 20 to 25 crore by July 2021.
“Our govt is working round the clock to ensure that there is a fair and equitable distribution of vaccines, once they are ready. Our utmost priority is how to ensure vaccine for each and everybody in the country,” Harsh Vardhan said in his ‘Sunday Samvaad’.
“There is a high-level expert body going into all aspects of vaccines. Our rough estimate and the target would be to receive and utilise 400 to 500 million doses covering approximately 25 crore people by July 2021,” the health minister added.
The vaccine is likely to be made available in the first trimester of the upcoming year. “Research to develop a vaccine is being done expeditiously. There are at least three viable candidates that are in the phase of clinical trials right now in the country. We are hopeful that within first quarter of 2021, it will be available,” Vardhan had earlier indicated.
Notably, India is the manufacturing partner of the vaccine candidate named Covishield, developed jointly by the University of Oxford’s Jenner Institute’s and AstraZeneca. The Pune-based firm, SII, is looking after the trials at 17 trial sites across India.
Besides this, trials of two indigenous vaccines by Zydus Cadila and Bharat Biotech are also underway.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Limited, a global pharmaceutical company headquartered out of India, had also agreed to cooperate on clinical trials and distribution of Sputnik V vaccine in India. Sputnik V, an adenovirus vector-based vaccine, was developed by the Gamaleya Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, along with the Russian Direct Investment Fund and registered on August 11.