All states to begin COVID-19 vaccine dry run from January 2   

The decision was taken at a high-level meeting of the Union Health Ministry on December 31

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NH Web Desk

A dry run for Covid vaccine will be held in all states on Saturday, January 2. The decision was taken at a high-level meeting of the Union Health Ministry on December 31. Earlier, a two-day dry run to assess the readiness of the mechanism laid out for the COVID-19 immunisation drive was successfully conducted in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, and Assam, the Union Health Ministry said.

The plan to extend the dry run to all states and UTs comes amid the apex drug regulator body of India indicating that India might start the new year with a vaccine against Covid-19.

"All the states expressed satisfaction in terms of operational approach and use of IT platform to ensure transparency and effective monitoring of vaccination processes expected to cover a large number of people across the country.

"Additional suggestions on IT platform were also noted for further enhancement of Co-WIN platform. Detailed insights and feedback obtained will help enrich the operational guidelines and IT platform and will strengthen the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out plan," the Union Health Ministry said.

According to a report by news agency IANS, quoting government sources, two vaccine manufacturer companies, Serum Institute of India and Pfizer have sent applications to the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization for approval of the emergency use of their vaccine in India and is currently awaiting its approval.

According to news agency Reuters, the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID vaccine candidate, being tested and produced by the Serum Institute of India, Pune, is likely to get the approval first, because of its relatively lower price, effective logistics, and easiness of storage.

The Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has emerged as a frontrunner in the race of COVID vaccines. It is dubbed Covishield in India. The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine can be stored in a household refrigerator. It is not difficult to maintain a lower temperature and can be stored at 2 to 8 degrees Celsius.

Apart from the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine candidate, emergency approvals for Covaxin – India's first home-grown vaccine have also been filed for, with the Drugs Controller General of India.

Meanwhile, with 21,822 new cases of coronavirus infections detected on December 30, the tally now stands at one crore and 2.66 lakh. As many as 299 deaths were reported on Dec 30. While 26,000 were declared as recovered. According to the govt data, there are 2.57 lakh active infections in the country.

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