Based on feedback of dry-run, Govt ready to introduce COVID-19 vaccine within 10 days

Government today said, based on the feedback of dry-run, Government is ready to introduce COVID-19 vaccine within 10 days from date of emergency use authorisation.

The DCGI on Sunday had announced the approval of two vaccines for restricted use in the country.

Briefing media Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan noted that the final decision lies with the government.

He said, in any immunisation programme in India manufacturers first transport vaccines to four Primary Vaccine Stores across the country from where it is transported in bulk to 37 state vaccine stores and then to districts and finally to PHCs.

Mr Bhushan said, the four primary vaccine stores called Government Medical Store Depot, GMSD located in Karnal, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata and there are 37 vaccine stores in the country.

They store vaccines in bulk and distributes further. 

He said, a large scale dry-run was conducted in all States and UTs on Saturday with an objective to, test operational feasibility of use of CO-WIN, assess linkage between planning and implementation and identify challenges before actual implementation.

The Health Secretary said, the daily positivity rate of COVID-19 is continuously declining and has been less than 3 percent from 23rd December to 5th January.

He said, average recovered cases exceeded average daily new cases for last 5 weeks.

He said, active cases are less than 2.5 lakhs after 6 months and declining.

Mr Bhushan said, daily number of deaths less than 300 for 11 consecutive days.

He said, cumulative positivity rate is 5.87 per cent and positivity rate during the last week was 1.97 per cent.

The Health Secretary said, only 43.96 per cent of the total active cases of COVID19 are under treatment in health-care facilities and on the other hand, 56.04 per cent of the active cases are very mild or asymptomatic.

He said, cases per million of population till now, India has among the lowest in the world.

Mr Bhushan said, India has around 7 thousand per million cases, while other countries are crossing 20 thousand mark.

He said, India is still among the lowest in the world in terms of active cases and deaths of per million population.

He added that active cases per million in India is 167 and deaths per million is 108. There is a continuous decline in active cases which are now below 2.5 Lakh.

India has reported only 96 new cases and 1 death per million population in the last 7 days.

Speaking about new strain of virus, Secretary Biotechnology Renu Swarup said, Government has launched Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium, INSACOG within the country and ten laboratories have been identified where genome sequencing work is being done.

She said, there is no scientific data to support the higher infectivity of UK SARS-CoV-2.

It has 17 mutations within spike. Ms Swarup said, but as per COG-UK report that came out on
Monday, the virus has been renamed and has 23 mutations with additional 6 synonyms mutations.

Speaking on vaccine, ICMR DG Prof. Balram Bhargava said, in terms of the Indian study, 1600 participants of age group more than 18 years were recruited, there immunogenicity data is being generated.

He said, interim analysis says COVISHEILD is safe and the data shows that it is inferior to the UK product. 

Member (Health) in NITI Aayog Dr V K Paul said, an optimistic scenario is emerging with the pandemic situation consistently improving in the country in terms of active cases and new deaths declining.


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