Guru Gyan
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Guru Gyan

Planning, procuring, distributing the Covid-19 vaccine

The National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 met on Wednesday discussed conceptualization and implementation mechanisms to create a digital infrastructure for inventory management and delivery mechanism of the vaccine.

The government of India set up the expert committee last week to oversee the plan of identification, buying, financing the purchase, distribution and administration of Covid-19 vaccines.

The group delved on the procurement mechanisms for the vaccine and discussed the financial resources required for the procurement as well as available options in terms of delivery platforms. India will leverage domestic vaccine manufacturing capacity and will also engage with all international players for early delivery of vaccines not only in India but also in low- and middle-income countries.

The committee advised that the states do not need to procure vaccines separately, which means that the government is planning for central procurement for the vaccines, under which it will be a single pathway to manage and deliver the vaccines against Covid-19.

First trying to get into the vaccine business, and now in the planning process to procure one — the countries across the world are trying to approach all possibilities to get their hands on the produced vaccines as soon as it hits the market.

The Serum Institute of India (SII) partnered with AstraZeneca as well as Novavax to develop its Covid-19 vaccine candidates. The institute has also received approvals to conduct trials of the Oxford-Astrazenca vaccine in India. In an interview, last month, Adar Poonawalla, the chief executive officer of SII had said that India will get 50% of Oxford Coronavirus Vaccine doses produced.

India is also a potential beneficiary of the Covax programme of GAVI through which it would get vaccine doses for at least 20% of the countries’ population. The GAVI programme’s aim is to accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines, and to guarantee fair and equitable access to countries in the world.

The United States government has entered into advance supply agreements with various companies like Oxford University and AstraZeneca, Moderna, Novavax to pre-order millions of doses of vaccines well in hand that are being considered to be the leading contenders to get approved.

The UK government has signed deals with GSK and Sanofi, Pfizer and Valneva to secure millions of doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. AstraZeneca has also said that it will supply Europe with up to 400 million doses of Oxford’s vaccine.

Many contenders have claimed that they may be ready with Covid-19 vaccine by either the end of this year or the start of the next year. Therefore, the governments all over the world are gearing up the procurement process to ensure last-mile distribution to their respective countries.

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