In a major boost for the country, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Sunday said that no date has been fixed for the launch of the vaccine in the country and it may be ready by the first quarter of next year. Stating that the government is taking full precautions, the health minister interacted with his social media followers on the Sunday Samvad platform.
He further said that the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 is drawing up a detailed strategy on how to immunize majority of the population. Chairmanship of Dr. V K Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog is also extending its full support.
He said issues like vaccine security, cost, equity, cold-chain requirements, and production timelines are also being discussed intensely. Health Minister assured the vaccine will be first made available to those who need it the most, irrespective of their paying capacity.
In a major reprieve, Oxford University on Saturday announced that it will resume its Coronavirus (COVID-19) trials in partnership with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca in the UK. Days after halting trials after one volunteer developed an illness. Oxford University released a statement that it will resume trials in all sites across UK adding that with 18,000 test cases, some participants are bound to get unwell. India's Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) order AstraZeneca's Indian manufacturer - Serum Institute of India to halt trials and stall recruitment of participants for Phase-2 & 3 trials.
India in the last 24 hours reported 94,372 new COVID-19 cases taking the national Coronavirus tally beyond the 47-lakh mark, as per the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Sunday. With the latest spike, the total cases stand at 47,54,357 of which, 9,73,175 are active cases while 37,02,596 patients have been cured/discharged and migrated. 1,114 deaths due to the pathogen were reported in the last 24 hours, across the country, taking the national death toll due to coronavirus to 78,586.