In a big development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair a virtual meeting with the Chief Ministers of all states at 4 pm on Monday. The interaction will centre around the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine. Since the commencement of the lockdown in March 2020, the PM has chaired regular meetings with the CMs to take stock of the novel coronavirus situation. The government of India will inoculate 30 crore individuals belonging to priority groups in the first phase of its COVID-19 vaccination drive.
At 4 PM on Monday 11th January, PM @narendramodi will interact with Chief Ministers of all states via video conferencing. They will discuss the COVID-19 situation and the vaccination rollout.— PMO India (@PMOIndia) January 8, 2021
So far, the country has recorded 1,04,13,417 novel coronavirus cases out of which 1,00,37,398 patients have recovered while 1,50,570 fatalities have been reported. The country has also witnessed two rounds of dry run of the vaccine, aimed at ensuring efficient planning and management for vaccine delivery in all the states and Union Territories. While reviewing the dry run in Chennai, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan had revealed that lakhs of healthcare workers have been trained for administering the vaccine.
In a big breakthrough in India's fight against COVID-19, the Drug Controller General of India accepted the recommendations of the Subject Expert Committee of Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation on January 3, paving way for the approval of COVISHIELD and COVAXIN. Manufactured by the Serum Institute of India with technology transfer from Oxford University-AstraZeneca, COVISHIELD is a Recombinant Chimpanzee Adenovirus vector vaccine with its overall efficacy at 70.42 per cent. 50 million doses of this vaccine are ready. On the other hand, COVAXIN is a Whole Virion Inactivated Corona Virus Vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with ICMR and NIV.
Bharat Biotech has completed the enrolment of 25,800 volunteers for the phase 3 clinical trials of COVAXIN. However, it has been approved in "public interest" in the clinical trial mode so that there can be more options for vaccination in case of infection by mutant strains. Both the vaccines have to be stored between 2-8 degrees celsius. Countering the charge that COVAXIN was approved hastily, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan made it clear that all the recipients of this vaccine will be tracked and monitored as if they are in clinical trial mode.