COVID-19 outbreak: Union govt sets up task force for vaccine distribution

New Delhi: People across the world have fallen prey to the coronavirus which has already infected 19,385, 292 people and killed 720, 053 globally (till Friday night). In India too, a total of 2,083, 835 have been diagnosed with the disease while 42,566 have died duet to the virus. Amid the coronavirus scare, a race has been started between the vaccine makers to develop a vaccine to eradicate the pandemic.

The India scientists are no way behind in developing the vaccine. Meanwhile, the Union government has formed an expert committee to oversee all aspects of its Covid-19 vaccine plan.

According to media reports, the cabinet secretary formed the high-level panel on Friday. The panel which will be led by Niti Aayog’s Dr VK Paul and co-chaired by health secretary Rajesh Bhushan 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 also representatives from states.

Notably, the panel has been formed even as six vaccines are in Phase 3 or combined Phase 2-3 trials and as countries around the world scramble to strike deals with multiple vaccine makers.

Sources said that the taskforce will oversee all aspects of its Covid-19 vaccine plan, from identification of the vaccine to buying to financing the purchase to distribution and administration. It will pick the vaccine or vaccines that India can use, plan the finances for what is sure to be an expensive purchase running into billions of dollars, and prioritise the sequence of administration.

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