THD NewsDesk, NEW DELHI: On 13th September, the Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan announced on ‘Sunday Samwaad’ that soon enough India’s first COVID-19 vaccine will be ready. On the first episode of Sunday Samwaad, Dr Harsh Vardhan’s social media interaction programme it was confirmed that the vaccine would tentatively be launched by the first quarter of 2021.
Among the other strategies discussed by the Union Health and Family Welfare Minister, the information that seized everyone’s attention was the possibility of having a Covid-19 vaccine in the next few months. It was revealed that the Union Health Ministry is deliberating on the proposition to grant emergency authorization to a coronavirus vaccine as the curve rate of Covid cases is at an all-time high with no signs of flattening.
According to the reports issued by the Indian health ministry, India has registered 94,372 new COVID-19 cases and 1,114 deaths on Sunday while the estimated number of fatalities has crossed 78, 586.
Earlier this year, it was reported that one out of the three Covid vaccines had entered the third phase of pre-clinical human trials and positive outcomes were observed. Though any specific name was not divulged, it was believed that the vaccine being developed by Bharat Biotech under the supervision of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) – Covaxin – is the one being discussed. The other two candidates were Zydus Cadila’s ZycovD and Oxford University’s ChAdOx1, to be jointly manufactured by AstraZeneca and Serum Institute of India, Pune.
With the permitting of emergency authorization, the process of Phase-III trials would be expedited. However, Dr Harsh Vardhan has pledged that no compromises would be made on the safety and efficacy of the vaccine and assured that he would be the first one to receive the vaccine, “if people have a trust deficit in it.”
“A vaccine expert group has been established recently by the government to look into various issues related to the delivery of vaccines to vulnerable populations”, said Dr Harsh Vardhan responding to the questions of his social media followers.
He assured the public that the sole purpose behind allowing emergency-use authorization was to safeguard the health interests of senior citizens, in light of the high corona mortality rate that the country is witnessing. The other two categories of people to be given preference while administering the vaccine would be frontline health workers and persons with comorbidities. Answering to the doubts raised regarding the cost of the vaccine, the Health Minister promised that the “Government of India will ensure that the vaccine will be made available to those who need it the most, irrespective of their paying capacity.”