India forms high level expert committee to oversee Covid-19 vaccine plan
The panel’s main task will be to identify vaccines, plan finances and prioritise the sequence of its administration
India has formed an expert committee comprising representatives from relevant ministries and institutions to oversee all aspects of its Covid-19 vaccine plan, Hindustan Times reported.
The panel will look at issues like identification of the vaccine, financing the purchase and ensuring proper distribution and administration, the report said.
The idea is to work out effective deals with vaccine makers, with six vaccines in Phase 3 or combined Phase 2-3 trials.
According to the Hindustan Times’ report, the panel will be led by Niti Aayog’s Dr VK Paul and co-chaired by Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan.
The panel’s task is to identify the vaccine or vaccines, plan the finances for what could be an expensive purchase, and prioritise the sequence of administration, the report said.
According to Hindustan Times, the panel has been tasked to decide how the vaccines should be procured and identify the agencies that will be involved. It will also work out if state governments can place orders on their own or if it should be done through a centralised procurement agency.
Quoting an anonymous government official, the report says the panel would coordinate this with Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, and the World Health Organisation (WHO). Gavi’s Covax programme will ensure that India gets enough vaccine doses to be administered to 20% of the population.
The panel formed on Friday includes AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria, representatives of the ministries of external affairs, biotechnology, information technology, the Director General of Health services, India’s Aids Research Institute, the Indian Council of Medical Research, and representatives from states, the Hindustan Times report says.