Govt Plans For COVID-19 Vaccine: Cold Storage, Supply Chain & Helping Neighbours

New Delhi: Although India is not expecting a COVID-19 vaccine until early next year and the government has not yet signed any agreement with companies that are developing the vaccine, the authorities are already charting out a plan for its smooth supply and use.

“At least two meetings have taken place on preparing the ground for the first vaccine. There will be more talks in the next few weeks. There are complex issues” Hindustan Times (HT) reported a government official involved in the discussions as saying.

“The internal discussions have started so that we are fully prepared and to avoid any last-moment glitches. One of the key issues is distribution in remote areas such as North East India and how we have to set up large-scale cold storage facilities in such areas,” added the official in the HT report.

Some of the highlights of these discussions as reported in HT are:

  • How to distribute the vaccine? Should it only be given through government hospitals and public health care facilities at the district level, or if private hospitals should also be involved?
  • Who should be the beneficiaries for the first batch of the vaccine? Frontline health workers or the country’s aged population?

India’s obligation towards neighbouring countries:

It is also aware that the entire production from Serum Institute can’t be consumed domestically, the report added.

Among other things, talks are on to create a central database of all those who are vaccinated across states.

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