Days after Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) gave approval to two COVID-19 vaccines, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Tuesday said that India is prepared to roll out vaccine within 10 days of emergency use authorisation (EUA), subject to government’s nod.
“We are prepared to roll out vaccine within 10 days of emergency use authorisation approvals. The final call will be taken by the government,” Union health secretary told reporters in New Delhi at a press briefing.
This comes after the DCGI last week announced ‘restricted emergency use’ for two COVID-19 vaccine candidates — Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN and Serum Institute of India’s Covishield.
Talking about the vaccination process, the health secretary said that healthcare workers and frontline workers would not need to register themselves as a beneficiary as their data has been stored in a bulk database.
“Healthcare workers and frontline workers would not need to register themselves as a beneficiary as their data in bulk database that has been populated on the Co-WIN vaccine delivery management system in a bulk manner,” said Rajesh Bhushan.
He further said, “When we would come to the population priority group, the provision of registration or editing of data would be used. The system electronically allows session allocation. …The process of session allocation would be digital. Whether the beneficiaries has been vaccinated, this will be captured digitally.”
India’s active COVID-19 cases are less than 2.5 lakhs and are continuing to fall which has led to a decline in the overall burden on the health delivery structure, said Health Secretary.
“The active cases in the country are less than 2.5 lakhs and continue to decline. The positivity rate stood at 1.97 per cent,” he added.
The health secretary further said that 44 per cent of active cases are in hospital with moderate or severe symptoms while 56 per cent of cases are very mild or asymptomatic and are in home isolation.
India has reported 16,375 new COVID-19 cases, 29,091 recoveries, and 201 deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cases to 1,03,56,845, said the Union ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW) on Tuesday.
The total number of active cases stands at 2,31,036 while the total recoveries have reached 99,75,958.
The death toll due to coronavirus has mounted to 1,49,850.