Written by Krishna N. Das
New Delhi (Reuters) – Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that India is fully confident in distributing the corona virus vaccine as the world’s second most populous country has vaccinated more than one million people within a week of launching a massive campaign.
On Saturday, the Government of India called for the world’s largest vaccination program, using two locally made footage: one licensed by the University of Oxford and Astrogeneca PLC, and the other developed in collaboration with the Indian Medical Research Council, which operates in the state of Bharat Biotech. .
“Our product, the vaccine is coming fast in every corner of the country,” Modi said in a video conference with health workers from his Varanasi constituency.
“We are completely self-confident about the world’s greatest need today. Not only that, but India also helps vaccinate many countries.”
Known as the pharmaceutical capital of the world, India has gifted vaccines to its neighbors and partners in Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, the Seychelles, Mauritius and the Maldives. It starts trading exports to Brazil and Morocco on Friday.
The South Asian country’s own vaccination movement topped the list with 30 million health and other leading staff, followed by about 270 million people over the age of 50 or at high risk due to pre-existing medical conditions.
This adds 70-year-old Modi to the second category. He reiterated that this sequence would be followed, but made no mention of when he would be vaccinated.
India, with a population of 1.35 billion, has so far reported 10.63 million Govt-19 cases – second only to the United States – with 153,032 deaths.
The Ministry of Health says India vaccinated more people on its first day than the US, UK or France. Still, as only a handful of states have been able to meet their daily goals, more and more leading people are being asked to come forward to take shots.
It said in a statement that 1.04 million people had received the first vaccine as of early Friday.
Some physicians have expressed skepticism about the Bharat Biotech vaccine, which has been approved for emergency use without performance data from late stage clinical trials. The government says it is safe and effective.
Bharat Biotech on Friday gave a second dose to 13,000 people who took part in its final phase trial of covaxin, which will help them get some ideas about its effectiveness soon. It began the trial at the end of November and completed the registration of a total of 25,800 participants in early January.
In the coming months, India is expected to approve two vaccines, Russia’s Sputnik V and Cadillac Healthcare’s Zykov-D. India’s focus on domestically produced displays may force companies like Pfizer Inc. to produce in the country as well.
The U.S. company with plans to import the footage sought emergency application approval in India early last month, but a top government vaccination official told Reuters it needed a local test first. The government has asked the company to consider local production, as the Russians did.
(Krishna N. Das Report; Raju Gopalakrishnan Editing)