The Government of India hopes to receive up to 50 crore doses of coronavirus vaccine by July 2021 to inoculate about 25 crore people, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said on Sunday, as infections in the world’s second-worst affected country continue to surge.
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Dr Harsh Vardhan also expressed hope that we should have “very significant control” over COVID-19 by Diwali.
“But, the virus has taught us a certain lesson, it has taught us there has to be a new normal and we need to be more diligent about, more cautious about our lifestyle…,” he added.
According to the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, India has exceeded 140 tests per day per million population as advised by the World Health Organisation by nearly 6 times. Several states/UTs have demonstrated better performance than the national average.
India has set up committees to look into various aspects of the vaccine supply chain, including availability timelines for various vaccines, while obtaining commitments from manufacturers to ensure the maximum doses are available, Vardhan said.
He said the federal government is committed to taking all measures to ensure “fair and equitable” distribution of vaccines once they are ready. The South Asian nation, second only to the United States in caseload, has scope for higher infections as a large chunk of the population remains unexposed to the virus, a survey showed on Tuesday.
To prioritise the distribution of coronavirus vaccines, the health ministry aims to prepare a list of key personnel, such as frontline health workers, by the end of the month.
(With inputs from agencies)