India May Start COVID-19 Vaccination In January 2021, Says Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan

As the country continues its fight against COVID-19, Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan has informed that the centre might start the vaccination process as early as January 2021.

ZEE5 Web Desk

December 21, 2020

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As the country continues its fight against COVID-19, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has informed in a press conference that the centre might start the vaccination process as early as January 2021. Emphasizing the priority to be “safety and effectiveness” of the vaccines, he said that the government will ensure its availability as fast as possible.

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According to the health minister, the government is currently analysing the vaccines that have applied for emergency use authorisation and are looking at their safety along with their effectiveness in the masses, before making an informed decision. The statement comes as a great relief to the citizens, as the number of COVID-19 cases being reported is still on the positive high.

Dr Vardhan also stated that India has passed the worst phase of COVID-19. However, he also warned people to not let their guards down and stay cautious and strictly practice the safety protocols until any further notice. He noted the centre’s efforts in working with the state governments for the past four months regarding the vaccination and said that they are some issues to be resolved first.

The statement comes only days after the country’s COVID-19 tally crossed a whopping one crore. The virus to date has caused 1.45 lakh deaths while 95.80 lakh have recovered. The health minister also said that the vaccine cannot be forced upon anyone. He said the government will duly educate people and provide them with needed information before the process begins.

Currently, there are six companies making COVID-19 vaccines. These are all at different stages of clinical trials in India including Covishield, Covaxin, and Sputnik V. Apart from these, three other COVID-19 vaccines are in the pre-clinical stages. Referring to Covaxin, manufactured by Bharat Biotech International Limited in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the minister said that the trials are in phase 3. The manufacturers of Covaxin have applied for emergency use authorization in India.

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