In putting up a fight against the coronavirus pandemic, countries around the world are working on the vaccine and simultaneously looking into their distribution strategies for when the vaccine is available.
Speaking on the same lines, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing the Grand Challenges Annual Meeting 2020 on Monday informed that India is at the forefront of vaccine development for Covid-19 with some of the vaccines in advanced stages.
He also said that India was putting in place a well-established vaccine delivery system, through a digitised network along with the digital health ID for the immunisation of citizens.
The virtual event which witnessed the presence of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, policymakers and scientific leaders called for deepened scientific collaborations in solving global health problems, with an emphasis on Covid-19.
“Our population is four times that of USA and many of our states are as populated as nations in Europe and Asia.But with a people-powered and people-driven approach, India has kept its Covid-19 death rate very low. Today we are seeing a decline in the number of cases per day and the growth rate of cases. India has one of the highest recovery rates of 88%. This happened because India was one of the first countries to adopt a flexible lockdown when total cases were just a few hundred, one of the first to deploy rapid antigen tests, one of the first to encourage usage of masks and work on effective contact tracing.”~Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Further addressing the event, he said that apart from this, India was now known for proven capacity to produce vaccines and medicines at low cost. “More than 60% vaccines of global immunisation are manufactured in India. We included indigenous rotavirus vaccine in Indradhanush immunisation programme. This is a successful example for a strong partnership for long-lasting results. The Gates Foundation has been part of these efforts,” Modi said.
The digital health ID that the PM was referring to earlier was a project announced by Modi on August 15. Under this project, every Indian would be given a unique ID that would work like his or her health account, and store that individual’s medical records.
Earlier this month, the government has started to outline the logistics map for the procurement, storage and distribution for the vaccine, when one becomes available.
It was informed that the Centre has begun identifying both government and private facilities to create hubs for vaccine storage, with main focus on maintaining cold storage as most vaccines require to be stored and distributed at a fixed temperature, failing which the vaccine becomes ineffective.