Covid-19 vaccines to get emergency approval: Centre

Chennai: In just about a few weeks time, India shall grant license to its Covid-19 vaccine candidates.

According to the Union Health Ministry, “The Serum Institute of India, Bharat Biotech and Pfizer having already sent applications for Emergency Use Approval. Three vaccine candidates are under consideration of the regulator for licensing. Very active consideration is going on. There is hope that early licensure is possible in respect of all of them or any one of them,” said Dr V K Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog at the briefing on Tuesday.

“Some of the vaccine candidates may get licensed in the next few weeks,” said Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary, Union Home Ministry.

Sources said, the plan is to vaccine about one crore Healthcare Workers (HCWs) in both the government and private sector, two crore Frontline Workers (FLWs)—personnel from State and Central Police departments, Armed Forces, Home Guard, Civil Defence Organisations, disaster management volunteers, and Municipal workers (excluding HCWs). The largest group of recipients will be the prioritised age group, those above the age of 50 as well as those below 50 who have associated co-morbidities—with about 27 crore people to get a vaccine.

The country’s current cold chain is capable of storing the number of Covid-19 vaccines required for the first three crore health workers and front line workers. The process of updating the database of healthcare workers has started across all States and Union territories and Central ministries, with data being uploaded on the CO-WIN software.

Stating that the responsibility of vaccination lies within the people, Bhushan said, “Vaccination cannot just be a State’s or Centre’s responsibility, it has to be people’s participation”.

There are around 2.39 lakh vaccinators (Auxiliary Nurse Midwife-ANM) across the country. Only 1.54 lakh ANMs are to be used for Covid-19 vaccination.

“Once we get a green signal from our scientists, we’ll launch massive production of the vaccine. We’ve made all the preparations and drawn an outline to ramp up production of vaccine and to make it available to each and every person in shortest possible time,” Bhushan added.


NT Bureau