Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday said healthcare workers and people aged above 65 will be prioritized when a vaccine becomes available.
Addressing a webinar organized by the FICCI FLO on 'The Shifting Healthcare Paradigm During and Post-Covid', Vardhan stated that the COVID-19 vaccine will be available in the next few months and it is estimated that by July-August 400-500 million doses will be made available for 25-30 crore people.
"It is natural the vaccine distribution would have to be prioritized. As you know the healthcare workers who are corona warriors will be prioritized, then people who are above 65 years of age have been prioritized, then those from 50-65 years of age have been prioritized," he mentioned.
"Then those below 50 years who have other diseases. It is all being decided by experts with a scientific point of view. We have made a very detailed, meticulous plan for this. What we would have to do in March-April next year, we have started planning for it from now only," Vardhan added.
The minister said one can protect oneself from this deadly virus with small precautions like wearing a good quality mask properly, maintaining social distance, and taking care of hand-hygiene.
The phase-3 trial of the Oxford vaccine of the Serum Institute is almost near completion, while the phase-3 clinical trial of the indigenously-developed vaccine candidate of the Bharat Biotech and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has already started.
Dr. Reddy's Laboratories will soon start the combined phase-2 and phase-3 clinical trials of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, in India. Also, Biological E Limited has started early phases 1 and 2 human trials of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE said their vaccine candidate was found to be more than 95 percent effective in preventing COVID-19, whereas Moderna on Monday said its vaccine candidate against COVID-19 found it to have an efficacy of 94.5 percent.