India's Universal Immunisation Program Mechanism To Be Used For Distribution Of Covid-19 Vaccine

India's Universal Immunisation Program Mechanism To Be Used For Distribution Of Covid-19 VaccineUnion Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan  (representative image)

Recently, concerns have been raised over the lack of cold storage facilities in rural India to facilitate efficient distribution of the prospective COVID-19 vaccine.

Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan has revealed that the central government is planning to use the universal immunisation program (UIP) mechanism for the process, Mint reports.

Several vaccines such as that of BCG, oral polio, hepatitis B and others operate under the UIP framework. However, they will do so for COVID-19 subject to the approval of from the drug regulator.

“Once available, the coronavirus vaccine distribution follows the same route as for the current practice of vaccines distribution under Universal Immunization Program (UIP),” the leader disclosed in a written statement in the parliament.

Stanford Bernstien has predicted that the government will possibly vaccinate 30 per cent of the population over a course of three years. They have also predicted a total budget of $2 billion for this exercise.

As of now, three vaccines in India are in human trials. Serum Institute of India, Zydus Cadila’s DNA plasmid vaccine and Bharat Biotech International Ltd and Indian Council of Medical Reseach’s National Institute of Virology jointly developed totally inactivated vaccine are leading these initiatives.

Furthermore, Reliance Life Sciences Pvt Ltd, Biological E Ltd, Gennova Biopharmaceuticals Ltd, Choubey and Aurbindo Pharma Ltd have also been provided with the permission of test license for the manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO).