Vaccinators across India have received instructions to be ‘all set’ for the big day; state trainers for the immunisation drive have also been asked to finish district-level training by Friday, sources say.

New Delhi: 25 December has been observed as “Good Governance Day” since 2014 to celebrate the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihar Vajpayee. However, this year, if top sources are to be believed, the government is likely to declare some “big news” on the day related to the Covid-19 vaccine.

According to sources, vaccinators across the country have received instructions to be “all set” by 25 December and state trainers for the immunisation drive have been asked to finish their training by Friday. “The state trainers have asked to finish the district level training by 25 December,” sources said.

The Family Welfare Department of Uttar Pradesh has cancelled all leaves of officers and employees of the Health Department till 31 January 2021, stating that their cooperation would be required during that period. The employees whose leaves have been cancelled include doctors, nurses, contract workers and daily wage workers.

Meanwhile, Hindustan Syringes and Medical Devices (HMD) have delivered 289.1 lakh syringes for the nationwide immunisation programme and are targeting to deliver 70.07 crore syringes by April.

“We are on track to finish the shipment of the last few batches against an order of 140 million pieces for COVAX by the end of next week. We have space now to allow us to ramp up our production for the Government of India from 9 lakhs per day to 13.5 lakhs per day of 0.5 ml/0.1ml from the coming week,” said Rajiv Nath, CEO of HMD.

He added that the total dispatches in December, which started on 17 December, for 0.5ml AD syringes as per CMSS’s order amount to 57 lakh in Bareilly, 17.8 lakh for Jhansi, 38.90 lakh for Agra, 26.10 lakh for Kanpur, 58 lakh for Lucknow, 46 lakh for Gorakhpur and 48.1 lakhs for Varanasi. “The total number of syringes delivered till 19 December is 289.1 lakh,” he said.

Dr V.K. Paul, a member (health) of NITI Aayog and the head of the Covid-19 taskforce committee, also said in an exclusive interview, “India is lucky to have so many drug-maker companies. Whenever we have a vaccine, India will prove to be the strongest country to end COVID-19. Our vaccine industry is very strong regarding the development and production of vaccines. India’s vaccines are used in low and middle-income countries as well, which is about 60 percent of the world. We may also get vaccines that are being developed by other countries. We have three companies, amongst which, two are from India and one from another country, which have applied for emergency licensure. Indian companies which have applied for emergency authorisation are Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech, and the other is Pfizer from the US. The DCGI is reviewing their data.”

India has also already manufactured more than 50 million of the AstraZeneca vaccines. The Serum Institute of India (SII) has a tie-up with AstraZeneca, and if the UK grants it authorisation for its Covid-19 vaccine—which is expected to happen by 28-29 December—then the chances of the AstraZeneca vaccine to be authorised by other countries will increase.


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