It’s a medical technology race against time.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was recently administered a Covaxin shot, developed by Bharat Biotech, at New Delhi’s AIIMS hospital. This makes him the first beneficiary in the second phase of India’s nationwide vaccination program against the coronavirus.
“(It is) remarkable how our doctors and scientists have worked in quick time to strengthen the global fight against COVID-19,” Modi tweeted, sharing an image of himself taking the first dose of the vaccine.
Modi also urged all eligible to take the vaccine as the country began vaccinating people over 60 and those over 45 who have illnesses. “Together, let us make India COVID-19 free,” he said.
Bharat Biotech will be distributing Covaxin in the Philippines for the private sector, through Ambica and Family Vaccine and Specialty Clinics(FVSC- an IP-biotech company). An emergency use approval was recently applied for on behalf of Covaxin with the Food and Drug Administration.
In an earlier statement, the Department of Health (DOH), the country is ready to accept vaccines from various sources with the availability of technological facilities and equipment for storage. It also cited existing end-to-end agreements with manufacturers “where they will assist us from the time that the vaccines arrive here to the storage and the distribution.”
A statement from Modi’s office said he chose to take the shot early and was taken to AIIMS Hospital without any special route restrictions to avoid any inconvenience to the people.
India will expand its coronavirus vaccination program today to cover people over 60 and those over 45 who have illnesses, as it hopes to rein in a growing number of more infectious virus strains and a spurt in cases in some states.