Healthcare and frontline workers will have vaccine priority: V K Paul

The vaccine against the novel coronavirus, when it arrives, are going to be prioritised on the principle of “protecting the health system and pandemic control system”, and people who have “excessive risk of mortality”, NITI Aayog member Dr V K Paul, who chairs the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19, has said.

Resources won’t be a drag in providing the vaccine to the people, Dr Paul said.

“There are three vaccines being tested in India. Two additional ones have recently been given permission for trial. that employment is yet to start out , but three are already being subjected to human trials,” Dr Paul said. “Two of them — the ICMR Bharat and therefore the Cadila vaccines are Indian, indigenous vaccines. Both are within the final stages of phase II clinical trial and therefore the results should be available very soon, then they’re going to move to phase III clinical trial .”

Also, Dr Paul said, “Serum (Institute of India) is manufacturing and conducting phase III clinical trial trials for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. That vaccine is in phase III clinical trial (trials) and (is) therefore, most advanced in terms of R&D… So, if that’s successful then the likelihood of vaccination opens up… By all accounts, we’re looking forward to early 2021, when such an opportunity in an optimistic scenario is feasible .”

Dr Paul, however, cautioned that “You cannot take effectiveness without any consideration . We cannot take the vaccine development without any consideration .” Therefore, he said, “We must still hope to possess a vaccine but we cannot lower the guard in terms of the four strategies (testing-tracking-tracing; containment; hospital preparedness and response, clinical care; and wearing masks and observing social distancing) for control…”

Asked if the vaccine are going to be made available liberal to all Indians, Dr Paul said: “The vaccine in initial stages, in any country, isn’t getting to be available in unlimited supply because we are zero at the moment… it’ll take months.”

“Hence, within the initial phases, the vaccination are going to be prioritised which prioritisation is predicated on the principle of protecting the health system and pandemic system and to guard those that have excessive risk of mortality… For providing vaccine options to Indian people resources won’t be a drag .”

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Paul said that about 1 crore healthcare workers and frontline workers are going to be given priority. “We don’t skills far we’ve to go… So, we’ve to guard the health system…” he said.


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