The main and important plan would involve over billions of rupees, millions of health workers and volunteers and astronomical-sized state machinery to vaccinate over 1.3 billion people along with millions of new-born’s.joint effort by Oxford University and AstraZeneca to develop a vaccine to combat Covid-19 crossed a milestone with the announcement on Monday that it is 70% effective in trials. Here are the new update on this vaccine, along with the progress of two other vaccines being developed by Pfizer and Moderna, are encouraging in the backdrop of a surge in infections following the festival season. The India cannot afford another lockdown. Therefore, the next phase in the battle should focus on vaccination. Centre will procure the vaccine directly to make it available to the priority groups free-of-charge through the existing network of states and districts. States have been asked not to chart separate pathways of procurement.
The existing digital platform and processes used for the Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) are being enhanced to track Covid-19 vaccine administration and movement — from procurement to storage to distribution to individual beneficiaries — as and when the vaccine becomes available, health ministry officials said. And the mRNA vaccines may not be accessible right away as we lack the infrastructure to store them at the necessary subzero temperatures. The reason behind On the positive side, not only are Indian companies large scale vaccine manufacturers, the Universal Immunisation Programme has an existing storage infrastructure and distribution network which covers millions of children annually under its free immunisation programme.
And here are about 50 candidate vaccines undergoing trials, based on four technology platforms. Given the differences in the distribution infrastructure needed and the consequent impact on costs, we need more than one vaccine and multiple pathways to access them. The government also needs to prioritise the beneficiaries as there won’t be enough to go around as soon as a vaccine receives regulatory approval. And the combination of free vaccination along with a reduction in costs through bulk purchases can cover a substantial section of the population. Imports should also be allowed from the beginning as it will start lowering the overall risk of spread of Covid-19. The priority must be to cover the largest number in the shortest time.
The pandemic Covid-19 levels differences; everyone is potentially a spreader. Therefore, it makes sense to prepare for both a free vaccination drive as well as one that is market linked. Here are the quicker people get vaccinated, the better it will be for the process of economic recovery. However is the government, with its ability to buy in large quantities, can lower costs for subsequent distribution. A new combination of free vaccination along with a reduction in costs through bulk purchases can cover a substantial section of the population and Imports should also be allowed from the beginning as it will start lowering the overall risk of spread of Covid-19.
How will the vaccine be distributed? What is the cost.?
The covid-19 vaccines are available, will be distributed under a special Covid-19 immunisation programme with the Centre procuring the doses directly and making it available for priority groups, as per official sources.And here are the biggest challenge for India will be building up cold-chain logistics to distribute vaccines across India in a short period of time, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, the founder and chairman of Biocon Ltd., said at the Bloomberg India Economic Forum last week.
The all lab Centre will procure the vaccine directly to make it available to the priority groups free-of-charge through the existing network of states and districts. States have been asked not to chart separate pathways of procurement. According to the Union health minister Harsh Vardhan the Centre estimates to receive and utilise 40-50 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccine covering around 25 crore people by July next year.
The Modigovernment has set aside about Rs 50,000 crore ($7 billion) to vaccinate Indian citizens, according to people with knowledge of the matter. And the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration estimates an all-in cost of about $6-$7 (approximately Rs 400-500) per person in the nation of 1.3 billion.
However, experts believe that a lot will depend upon negotiations. “I doubt that the marginal cost of a vaccine would be anything close to that number at the volumes that India will purchase.