The Centre has said it will supervise the procurement process and has advised states not to initiate parallel mechanisms to buy the vaccine.
The Centre has said that a single system will be set up to procure COVID-19 vaccines for requirements across India, according to a report by Mint.
The government has reportedly said that the procurement process will be supervised by the Centre and has advised states not to initiate parallel mechanisms to buy the vaccine.
The report suggests that, after the first meeting of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19, the Union Health Ministry said India would leverage domestic vaccine manufacturing capacity. However, India will engage with international manufacturers for early delivery of doses not only for domestic use, but also for deployment in low- and middle-income nations, and key neighbouring countries.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
The expert group has deliberated on conceptualisation and implementation mechanisms for creating digital infrastructure for the vaccine’s last-mile delivery and inventory management. This will include real-time tracking of the process, the report added.
The panel is reportedly laying down guidelines for identifying and prioritising high-risk population groups for vaccination against the novel coronavirus.
Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.
Total confirmed COVID-19 cases in India have reached 23.2 lakh. This includes 16.3 lakh patients who have recovered and a death toll of 46,091.Click here for Moneycontrol’s full coverage of the novel coronavirus pandemic