New Delhi: Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said a coronavirus vaccine could be ready by the first quarter of 2021. considering its emergency authorisation for high-risk settings.
In an online interaction under the programme "Sunday Samvad", Harsh Vardhan said he would volunteer for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine if people have a "trust deficit" on the drug. He said frontline healthcare workers, senior citizens and those with illness will be given the priority whenever the vaccine becomes available.
Here goes the very first episode of #SundaySamvaad !— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) September 13, 2020
Grateful to thousands of you who wrote to me with hashtag #SundaySamvaadwithDrHV & sent questions.
Am happy that it has started a wonderful 2-way communication with social media friendshttps://t.co/JqkLwnLeTz
"While no date has been fixed for the vaccine launch, it may be ready by the first quarter of 2021. I shall be the first to offer myself for receiving COVID-19 vaccine if people have a trust deficit. A consensus is likely to be arrived soon on emergency authorisation for COVID-19 vaccine, especially in the case of senior citizens and people working in a high-risk environment," Harsh Vardhan said.
The minister assured that vaccine will be first made available to those who need it the most, irrespective of their paying capacity. "Issues like vaccine security, cost, equity, cold-chain requirements and production timelines are being discussed intensely," Harsh Vardhan said.
A single-day spike of 94,372 cases has pushed India's coronavirus tally to 47,54,356, Health Ministry data this morning showed. The death count has risen to 78,586 with 1,114 more fatalities in 24 hours. And 37,02,595 patients have recovered from the infection in the country. Maharashtra remains the state hit hardest by the pandemic followed by three southern states - Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
"From the time when there were no Indian manufacturers of PPEs (personal protective equipment) with good standards, now there are nearly 110 indigenous manufacturers of high-quality PPEs. The country is in a position to not only meet its own demands but also export to help other nations," the Health Minister said.