Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday posed four questions relating to potential coronavirus vaccines before Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Gandhi sought to know which COVID-19 vaccine will the government choose and why. He asked by when will all Indians be vaccinated.
"The PM must tell the nation: Of all the COVID vaccine candidates, which will GOI choose and why? Who will get the vaccine first and what will be the distribution strategy? Will PMCares fund be used to ensure free vaccination? By when will all Indians be vaccinated," Gandhi wrote on Twitter.
The PM must tell the nation:— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) November 23, 2020
1. Of all the Covid vaccine candidates, which will GOI choose & why?
2. Who will get the vaccine first & what will be the distribution strategy?
3. Will PMCares fund be used to ensure free vaccination?
4. By when will all Indians be vaccinated?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to hold virtual meetings with chief ministers and other representatives of states and union territories on Tuesday to review the COVID-19 situation and discuss vaccine distribution strategy. He is expected to hold two back to back meetings, one with eight states with high caseloads and another with states and UTs to discuss vaccine distribution strategy.
Meanwhile, the government was exploring the modalities of emergency authorisation and usage of anti-coronavirus vaccines pending completion of phase-three clinical trial and regular licensure. The issue of advance purchase commitment for vaccines, including pricing, was also discussed in a recent meeting attended by NITI Aayog Member (Health) Vinod Paul, Principal Scientific Advisor to the government K VijayRaghavan and Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan.
Meanwhile, five vaccines are under different phases of clinical trials in India. Bharat Biotech and ICMR has started the phase-three trial of the indigenously developed COVAXIN jab. An indigenously developed vaccine by Zydus Cadila has completed phase-two clinical trial in the country. Dr Reddy's Laboratories will soon start combined phase two and three trials of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V in India.
The vaccine candidate being trialled by Oxford University on Monday presented crucial Phase 3 interim results which show that it is “effective” at preventing COVID-19 and offers a high level of protection from the deadly virus. The ChAdOx1 nCoV-2019, being produced in collaboration with AstraZeneca, was found to be 70.4 per cent effective when combining data from two dosing regimens. However, in two different dose regimens, the vaccine's efficacy was 90 per cent in one and 62 per cent in the other.
Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech have announced that its vaccine appears 95 per cent effective at preventing mild to severe COVID-19 disease in a large, ongoing study. Moderna has also announced that its COVID-19 vaccine has shown to be 94. 5 per cent effective in preventing the deadly disease.