India taking independent steps to procure Covid-19 vaccine, sector to ensure availability
An expert panel on Wednesday advised states against making independent efforts to procure vaccines against Covid-19, saying it planned to leverage the country's manufacturing facilities for early deliveries in India and other low and middle income countries.
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The National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration (NEGVA), chaired by V K Paul, member Niti Ayog, held its first meeting here and discussed procurement mechanisms for Covid-19 vaccine, both indigenous and international, along with guiding principles for prioritisation of population groups for vaccination.
The group also advised all the states not to chart separate pathways of procurement, a Health Ministry statement said.
'The expert group discussed that 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,' it added.
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Indian vaccine manufacturers account for more than 60% of the global vaccine supplies at an affordable price.
The group also deliberated on conceptualisation and implementation mechanisms for creation of digital infrastructure for inventory management and delivery mechanism for the vaccine, including tracking the immunization process with particular focus on last-mile delivery.
The expert group discussed the financial resources required for procurement of Covid-19 vaccine and various options of financing the same.
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Available options in terms of delivery platforms, cold chain and associated infrastructure for roll out of Covid-19 vaccination also came up for deliberation.
'Further, strategy and follow-up action on all possible scenarios to ensure equitable and transparent delivery of vaccine was deliberated upon. Issues related to vaccine safety and surveillance were taken up and strategies for community involvement through transparent information and awareness creation were discussed,' the statement said.