Sunday, August 1, 2021

Government funding for Covid-19 vaccine questioned – ET HealthWorld

New Delhi: A top government official has questioned the need for the government to finance the Covid-19 vaccine if India was on its way to achieving herd immunity.

“At this stage in India, when ‘R0’ has come down to below one in all states then the epidemic in India is self-limiting in that sense…so, if it is self-limiting, then should we be financing it (Covid-19 vaccine)?” Indu Bhushan, CEO of Ayushman Bharat scheme, said at a webinar on Tuesday.

R0, or ‘R naught’, is the average number of people who contracts a contagious disease from one infected person.

Speaking about who should get vaccinated on priority at the webinar, ‘The Challenge of Vaccinating a Billion Indians: How to meet it?’ organised by the National Council for Applied Economic Research (NCAER), Bhushan divided the population into three main groups – those likely to be infected, those likely to be impacted, and those likely to spread the infection.

While the government is focusing on the first two groups, Bhushan raised questions on vaccination of the third group as well as those who can afford to pay for it.

Renu Swarup, secretary of the biotechnology department, said, “There has been no compromise on any step that’s required to ensure the safety, the efficacy, the immunogenicity response that this vaccine will bring in.”

She said the reason behind the speed with which multiple vaccine candidates have been developed within a year’s time was global collaboration and building upon the existing framework for vaccine development.

States ready for rollout
State capacity for vaccination was not in doubt as a population the size of Madhya Pradesh could be vaccinated against Covid-19 in a matter of six months, according Mohammed Suleman, additional chief secretary, directorate of health services, Madhya Pradesh.

“As I look at Madhya Pradesh, I’m fairly confident that even if I have to cover 100% of the population for vaccination, I can do it in six months’ time, flat,” Suleman said.

Junaid Ahmad, World Bank country director for India, said there should be a more equitable distribution of the vaccine for the “sequel”, referring to the mutated strain of the virus. “When the sequel comes, and there will be a sequel, we must not be in a position where the north is the one that is getting the vaccines first and the south is having to wait,” he said at the virtual conference.

Source link

Stay Connected


Latest Articles

Need to create vigilance and awareness on zoonotic diseases: India’s Health Minister

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need of creating vigilance and awareness on zoonotic diseases, informed Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya while virtually inaugurating...

Covid’s second wave proves lethal for pregnant women

At SVP Hospital in Ahmedabad – one of the major Covid-19 hospitals of the city – 148 pregnant women with Covid-19 infection were admitted...

7 Tips to Keep Your Gut Healthy

This is common to say health (and illness) starts in your gut. If you have poor gut health, you’ll experience anything from wrinkled skin, to...

SII making first batch of Covovax: Poonawalla

The first batch of Covovax, a Covid-19 vaccine developed by Novavax Inc, is being manufactured at the Serum Institute of India's Pune facility, SII...

Sputnik V is safest among all Covid-19 vaccines, no deaths recorded: Buenos Aires study

A study by the Buenos Aires Ministry of Health to monitor the safety of the Sputnik V vaccine against Covid-19 confirmed on Thursday that...