Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that Indian manufacturers will be able to produce the much-awaited COVID-19 vaccines in the next few weeks. At the all-party meeting, the Prime Minister gave enough indication that India will use indigenously made vaccines as he talked about cheap but effective vaccines. Both Moderna and Pfizer candidates are much higher priced than India’s potential immunization candidates.
Talking about India’s vaccine preparations, the Prime Minister said, “Experts believe we don’t have to wait for a long period to get a vaccine. It is understood that in next few weeks, Covid vaccines will be ready. The government is waiting for a go-ahead from the scientists.”
While the steeply-priced Pfizer vaccine has already got emergency authorisation from UK and vaccination there is set to start next week, Prime Minister Modi indicated that his government is likely to wait for a vaccine that is made in India. “The world is looking at a cheap but effective vaccine against Covid-19. The world is looking at India. You can be assured our scientists are working hard. Eight Covid vaccines are at different stages of preparedness in India. This includes the three Indian vaccines that are at different stages of trials.”
The Prime Minister also added that teams of Central and state governments are working together for vaccine distribution.
The PM, for the first time, also laid down the principles of vaccine administration. “The first priority would be given to healthcare workers, frontline workers and old people with comorbidities.”
He also told the parliamentary leaders of different parties that India has the best expertise and capacity in vaccine distribution—indicating the existing vaccine network of universal immunization. “We have a large and experienced network in vaccination. We will fully use it.”