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Centre Formed committee for procurement, administration of COVID-19 vaccine; Headed by Dr VK Paul

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COVID-19 vaccine headed by chairmanship of Dr VK PaulOn August 11, 2020, the Central Government has formulated an expert committee namely “National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration” under the chairmanship of Dr VK Paul, a member (health) at the NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog to consider the logistics, ethical aspects of procurement, and administration of COVID-19 vaccine in discussion with all state governments and vaccine manufacturers.

  • Members of Committee: The high-level panel includes AIIMS (All India Institutes of Medical Sciences) director Dr Randeep Guleria, representatives of the ministries of external affairs (MEA), biotechnology, information technology, the Director General of Health services, National AIDS Research Institute (NARI), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), and also representatives from states.

Key Responsibilities of Committee:

-The panel will identify the COVID-19 vaccine that is effective in fighting against the virus and then formulate a plan for its procurement. 

-It will prepare a strategy on inventory management, distribution, and administration.

-The committee will also consider other issues related to logistics of the vaccine like cold chain, inventory, how to arrange resources to procure vaccines and how to address the equity issues linked to vaccination.

Important Points regarding COVID-19 Vaccine:

-On August 11, 2020, Russia became the first country in the world to register a COVID-19 vaccine which is developed by Gamaleya Research Institute and the Russian defence ministry.

-In India, three vaccine candidates are in different stages of human clinical trials. The candidates are:

  1. Bharat Biotech, in collaboration with ICMR
  2. Zydus Cadila Ltd
  3. Oxford University

– Serum Institute of India (SII) of Pune, Maharashtra has been permitted to conduct Phase 2 and 3 human clinical trials of the vaccine developed by the Oxford University. It has partnered with AstraZeneca for its manufacturing.

-SII also has entered into a partnership with international vaccine alliance Gavi and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to accelerate manufacturing and delivery of up to 100 million doses of vaccines for India and other low and middle-income countries.

Recent Related News:

NITI Aayog’s Vice Chairman, Dr Rajiv Kumar, presented India’s second Voluntary National Review (VNR) at the United Nations High-level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development, 2020, which was held virtually from July 7, 2020 to July 16, 2020, under the aegis of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), amid COVID-19 pandemic. The theme of HLPF was “Accelerated action and transformative pathways: realizing the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development”. 

About NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog:
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)– Amitabh Kant
Headquarter– New Delhi