Reports on India’s COVID-19 Vaccine Development

Two reports, from the Institute for Competitiveness which is India’s chapter of a global network, have been released by Mansukh Mandaviya, the Union Health Minister, on India’s Covid-19 vaccine development and administration journey.

Overview:

  • This report focused on how coordination at the central, state, and district levels helped the massive adult vaccination drive succeed.
  • This report also highlighted the online portal that helped with vaccine management and registration as well as effective communication that resulted in very little vaccine hesitancy.
  • In a country as huge as India, the first challenge for a successful vaccination drive was to address vaccine hesitancy and scale up production. This has been successfully tackled.
  • The report also talked about how through the use of technology such as Arogya Setu, CoWin, the nation effectively tackled the vaccination drive.

What strategy was used in India for vaccine development?

This report stated two strategies that the government adopted for its vaccine development.  The first was the support of Rs 100 crore provided from the PM CARES fund for the development of an indigenous vaccine, and the second was allowing Indian pharmaceutical companies to collaborate with global candidates for clinical trials in the country.

The two vaccines whose maximum number of doses were used in India are the indigenously developed Covaxin by Bharat Biotech and Covishield which was developed by Serum Institute of India in association with Oxford/AstraZeneca.

Which kind of training approach helped the vaccination drive in India?

The hybrid training approach which was adopted for skilling the healthcare workers who were crucial to the massive drive, as well as the CoWin platform for registering beneficiaries while simultaneously disseminating Covid-19 vaccines on a real-time basis, were praised in the report.

Communication through gram sabhas, engagement of celebrities, local leaders, etc, along with a communication channel through which National Media Rapid Response Cell sent alerts to district collectors to tackle fake news was also praised in the report.

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