‘Desi’ corona vaccine may come in first quarter of 2021 – Harsh Vardhan

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New Delhi, 13 September: Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan answered many questions found on Twitter in free-dealing question answer session – Sunday Dialogue on social media.

This program was recorded at the request of thousands of people who are regularly sending questions to the ministries under the charge of Harsh Vardhan.

The Union Minister said that no date has been set for the introduction of the vaccine, in which it may be ready in the first quarter of 2021.

Harsh Vardhan said that the government is taking all precautions for human testing of the vaccine and, a National Expert Group on Vaccine for Covid-19 has been formed under the chairmanship of member of NITI Aayog (Health), Dr VK Paul. This will decide that more and more people can be given the vaccine.

Apart from this, the program of vaccine safety, price, cold-chain requirement, manufacturing is also being discussed intensively.

The Union Minister made it clear that the government is considering an emergency authorization letter of Covid-19 vaccine. If agreed upon, further work will be done on this, especially for senior citizens and people working in high-risk locations. This work will be done after consensus.

In India, both the Department of Biotechnology and ICMR are working proactively to support the vaccine candidate in the emerging situation. India is actively in partnership with the Epidemic Preparedness Innovation Alliance-CEPI.

Referring to the availability of PPE kits and the availability of N-95 masks, he said that at the beginning of the Corona pandemic, we did not have indigenous manufacturers of PPE. Currently there are around 110 indigenous manufacturers making PPE as per the required standard.

He said that the Government of India has started giving free coverage of up to Rs 5 lakh to patients of Corona.

He said that under the Ayushman Bharat-PM-JAY package, eligible people are getting this benefit.