Noting that it is natural to prioritise COVID-19 vaccine distribution, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday said healthcare workers and people aged above 65 will be early recipients when a vaccine becomes available.
Addressing a webinar organised by the FICCI FLO on ‘The Shifting Healthcare Paradigm During and Post-Covid’, Vardhan said COVID-19 vaccine will be available in the next few months and it is estimated that by July-August 400-500 million doses will be made available for 25-30 crore people.
“It is natural the vaccine distribution would have to be prioritised. As you know the healthcare workers who are corona warriors they will be prioritised, then people who are above 65 years of age they have been prioritised, then those from 50-65 years of age have been prioritised,” he said.
“Then those below 50 years who have other diseases. It is all being decided by experts with a scientific point of view. We have made a very detailed, meticulous plan on this. What we would have to do in March-April next year, we have started planning for it from now only,” Vardhan added.
The minister said one can protect oneself from this deadly virus with small precautions like wearing a good quality mask properly, maintaining social distance and taking care of hand-hygiene.
New quota for ‘wards of COVID warriors’ in MBBS, BDS seats under Central pool
“The Central pool MBBS seats may be allocated for selection and nominations of candidates from amongst the wards of COVID warriors, who have lost life due to the coronavirus, or died accidentally on account of COVID-related duty,” the statement added.
All private hospital staff and retired, volunteer, local urban bodies, contracted, daily wage, ad-hoc and outsourced staff requisitioned by states, central or autonomous hospitals of Central/states/UTs, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and Institutes of National Importance (INIs) or hospitals of Central Ministries drafted for COVID-19 related responsibilities will be eligible for the new category, it added.
Confident that COVID-19 vaccine will be ready in 3-4 months
Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Thursday said he was confident that COVID-19 vaccine would be ready in the next three-four months and added that the priority to provide the same to 135 crore Indians would be based on scientific evaluation.
The Minister was addressing the FICCI FLO webinar on ‘The Shifting Healthcare Paradigm During and Post-Covid’ today.
“I am confident that COVID-19 vaccine will be ready in the next three-four months. Priority for the vaccine will be designed on the basis of scientific data. Health care workers and corona warriors will naturally be prioritised followed by elderly and disease-prone people. Very detailed planning is underway for vaccine dissemination. An e-vaccine intelligence platform has been created to discuss the blueprint for the same. Tracking and tracing of the vaccine would be neck-deep once it’s available for the public. Hopefully, 2021 should be a better year for all of us,” the Health Minister said.
Praising the efforts of the Central government, the Minister said some ‘very bold steps’ were taken to fight the pandemic in the last few months.
“Janta curfew was a very innovative and unique experiment by our Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It had nationwide participation from the citizens. The decision to impose a lockdown followed by unlocking were some bold decisions by the central government during the pandemic. We have handled it very well,” the Minister said.