Mission Vaccine: From cost, doses to who pays, Dr Guleria lays blueprint for India’s vaccine strategy

2 January, 2021 | Priyanka Sharma

In an exclusive conversation with The Daily Guardian, AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria has shared insights from India's Covid-19 vaccine preparedness and distribution strategy.

In a major development against Covid-19 pandemic in India, the Centre has approved Serum Institute’s Covishield for emergency authorisation in India. As the country awaits DCGI’s nod on the same, it is conducting one of the biggest vaccine dry runs today to ensure smooth planning and implementation of the immunisation programme. While there is still time for the immunisation process to begin, about 130 crore Indians have surely got their hopes high for a vaccine.

To answer some of the most asked questions about the immunisation programme, The Daily Guardian recently got in a conversation with AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria and here’s what he said.

Answering one of the most pertinent questions, i.e how can one get vaccinated, Dr Guleria said that one important thing that we must understand that we will not have doses for everyone in the beginning. The government has primarily identified 3 priority groups, which include healthcare workers, frontline workers and people above 50 years of age with co-morbidities. This has been done with the aim to decrease deaths and break the transmission chain.

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Speaking about the registration process, he added that the listing of healthcare workers has been done and uploaded on the COWIN software. After their registration on the app, which will also have the database of their contact numbers, they will be informed about the place and time of vaccination via SMS. He further shared that the home ministry has also made a list of frontline workers. When asked if the vaccine will be free of cost, he responded that currently, the cost of the vaccine will be supported by the government.

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