2021 brings hope, ready for the biggest vaccination action: PM Modi – news from India

India is massively preparing for the launch of the world’s largest vaccination against coronavirus disease (Covid-19), Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday amid growing indications that drug regulators in the country will soon approve the first vaccine for a roll in the coming days.

Modi said the end of a pandemic-ravaged 2020 has brought new hope and urged citizens to join the vaccination effort in 2021, as well as reduce last year’s infections.

“For vaccines, every necessary preparation is in progress. Efforts are being made to obtain vaccines in India for the people who need it most. India is working hard to eliminate the largest immunization unit in the world, “the prime minister said, inaugurating a new All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Rajkot, Gujarat, via video link in New Delhi.

“In 2020, there was an atmosphere of disappointment and dismay at the infection. There were doubts everywhere. But 2021 comes with a ray of hope in terms of its treatment “, said Modi.

He described the battle against coronavirus disease as a fight against “an unknown enemy” and urged people not to believe in rumors, to behave “as responsible citizens” and “to refrain from posting on social media without checking “.

The prime minister also said that the last day of the year was one that “remembers the millions of doctors in India, health warriors, sanitation workers, pharmacy workers and other crown warriors of the first line”.

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Three vaccines are being evaluated for emergency approval by the Central Organization for the Control and Establishment of Medicines (CDSCO). These are the vaccine candidates developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, which was first approved anywhere in the world after clinical trials; Candidate Serum Institute of India (SII) Oxford University-AstraZeneca, believed to be the one with the most available doses at the earliest; and one developed by Bharat Biotech International Limited, a complete antidote made in India.

According to government officials who asked not to be named, the candidate for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has emerged as the leader for regulatory approval, in particular because it had been greened on Wednesday by the UK drug regulator.

The launch of any approved vaccine will be a difficult task – the government aims to reach 300 million people by July, which means that an average of more than 1.5 million will have to be inoculated every day starting in January.

“… This year has shown that when India unites, it can effectively deal with the most difficult crisis. India is in a much better position as a result of the actual steps, and India’s record of rescuing Corona victims has been much better than in other countries, ”said Modi.

Later, Union Secretary of Health Rajesh Bhushan chaired a summit to guide states in preparing for the launch of the Covid-19 vaccine. The government has also decided to conduct a nationwide vaccination exercise on January 2, replicating droughts in seven districts over the past week.

“It is proposed to carry out the activity in all state capitals in at least three session sites; some states will also include districts located on difficult terrain or areas with poor logistical support … “, said the ministry of family health and welfare in a statement.

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According to the Ministry of Health, the main objective of the dry period is to assess the operational feasibility of the Co-WIN application, the digital platform that will form the backbone of vaccination management. The links between planning and implementation will also be extensively tested and issues that can lead to challenges during effective implementation will be identified.

“The plan is completed, which is why dry races are carried out to see how it works on the ground. The pilot race helped us identify certain weaknesses that are being resolved, and now the same exercise will take place across the country, “said a senior health ministry official, requesting anonymity.

Overall, the vaccination process will include profiling and managing the program for several groups of people. These include 100 million health workers (who are divided into nine categories), front-line workers such as police and military personnel, disaster management volunteers and municipal workers, as well as members of the general public at greatest risk. of virus.

The last group includes the largest numbers, about 270 million. Of these, 260 million are people over the age of 50 who have been classified as a priority group. The remaining 10 million are expected to be younger people, but with comorbid conditions associated with a higher risk of disease or mortality.

According to the operational guidelines of the Covid Vaccine Center, the age of a vaccination beneficiary will be taken into account from 1 January 2021. Anyone born on or before 1 January 1971 will fall into this category and the high-risk population group will be older. highly subcategorized into different age groups with priority for older people over 60 years of age.

The latest electoral lists for Lok Sabha and state legislative assembly elections will be used to identify the population over the age of 50.

The Prime Minister also praised the Gujarat government’s efforts to curb the coronavirus outbreak and spoke of his government’s initiatives in the health education sector. “We are working on a mission to improve medical education in India. After the formation of the National Medical Commission, the quality and quantity of health education will improve “, he added.