Home » Third coronavirus vaccine in India? Three-day polio vaccination drive begins on Sunday

Third coronavirus vaccine in India? Three-day polio vaccination drive begins on Sunday

by Raju Vernekar
0 comment 4 minutes read

IT Correspondent
Pune, Jan 31:

Serum Institute of India(SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla on Saturday said that the company is hopeful of launching Novavax’s coronavirus vaccine “Covovax”, which is stated to be 89 per cent effective in Europe, by June this year.
The development comes a day after the Pune-based pharma giant sought the Drugs Controller General of India’s (DCGI) permission to carry out a small domestic trial of the vaccine, which the SII is developing in partnership with American vaccine developer “Novavax”.
It was found to be 89.3% effective in a UK phase-III trial. If approved, “Novavax” could be India’s third COVID-19 vaccine. SII has partnered with the US-based biotech company to manufacture one billion doses of the vaccine in 2021.
Poonawalla said that the Serum Institute’s tie-up with “Novavax” has published ‘excellent efficacy results’. “Our partnership for a COVID-19 vaccine with @Novavax has also published excellent efficacy results. We have also applied to start trials in India. Hope to launch #COVOVAX by June 2021!” the SII chief tweeted.
At present SII’s “Covishield”, and Bharat Biotech’s indigenous “Covaxin” are the only two vaccines against coronavirus in India. SII has manufactured “Covishield” vaccine in collaboration with Oxford University and AstraZeneca. While “Covaxin” has been developed by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and National Institute of Virology ( NIV) and is being manufactured by Hyderabad based Bharat Biotech.
Till last week, around 16 lakh people were inoculated in India ever since the vaccination drive was launched in the country on 16 January 2021, the Union Health Ministry said. Both Covishield and Covaxin are being administered as part of the country’s mass inoculation drive.
Vaccination of frontline workers from Monday
In the meanwhile Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, reviewed the status of vaccination with Health Secretaries and NHM MDs of States and UTs, through a video conference (VC) on Saturday. The vaccination of the frontline workers shall commence from the first week of February 2021. The State/UT health authorities were advised to undertake the necessary planning for ensuring smooth implementation of this phase.
While some States and UTs have more than 50% coverage, they were advised to improve the percentage coverage of vaccinated beneficiaries since most of the States and UTs are required to improve their performance on this parameter. The Health Secretary pointed out that COVID19 vaccine is available in sufficient quantity and technical glitches on CoWIN have now been resolved.
He pointed out that a provisional digital vaccination certificate after the first dose and final certificate after completing the second dose is required to be issued and the States/UTs should take the necessary steps to ensure that the vaccination certificates are issued to all vaccinated beneficiaries before they exit the session. He reiterated that validation of eligibility and verification of identity of a beneficiary is of utmost importance to ensure that only genuine and duly authenticated beneficiaries are vaccinated as per the priority group identified.  In order to create Immutable Vaccination Event Records (IVER), it is essential that a reliable authentication of beneficiaries is done.
Besides, “Aadhar” based authentication must be the preferred mode of verification of beneficiaries prior to the vaccination. The “CoWIN” software interface provides for authentication of beneficiaries through use of “Aadhar”. As such the vaccinators should be sensitized to do proper authentication of beneficiaries. Besides the compliance should be strictly monitored at District and State Task Force meetings.
Polio immunisation program
In another Development, the three day Polio vaccination drive began on Sunday, 31 January. It will continue till 02 February, under National Polio Immunisation programme. President Ram Nath Kovind launched the program by administering polio drops to some children at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on Saturday.
Under the program Polio drops will be given to around 17 crore children in the age group of 0 to 5 years as part of the drive of the government to sustain polio-free status of the country. The countrywide drive will be supported by about 24 lakh volunteers, 1.5 lakh supervisors and many Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), WHO, UNICEF, Rotary, etc. Healthcare workers will be visiting as many as 2 crore households to ensure that no child is left without the protection of the polio vaccine.

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