Modi reviews vaccine development progress, asks to focus on cost-effectiveness

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a review meeting to assess the progress of research and vaccine development ecosystem to fight Covid-19. Be it testing, vaccine and medication, the solution has to be cost-effective, easily available and scalable, the Prime Minister said.

The meeting was attended by Union health minister Harsh Vardhan, NITI Aayog member (health), principal scientific advisor, senior scientists, and other officials.

The prime minister lauded the efforts of Indian vaccine manufacturers in trying to produce a vaccine for Covid-19. However, he said India has to cater to the needs of the world as well. Modi took stock of the health ministry’s distribution and delivery mechanism for vaccines. Three vaccines are currently under trial in India.

At the meeting, Modi also asked the officials to increase testing and conduct more sero-surveys. “The prime minister directed that both sero surveys and testing must be scaled up and he said that the facility to get tested regularly, speedily and inexpensively must be available to all at the earliest,” a statement by the Prime Minister’s Office said.

The Prime Minister stated that regulatory reform was a dynamic process, and experts in every current and emerging domain should be used by the regulator proactively, as many new approaches have emerged.

The Prime Minister took stock of Health Ministry’s comprehensive distribution and delivery mechanism for vaccines. This includes mechanisms for adequate procurement, and technologies for bulk-stockpiling, filling vials for distribution and ensuring effective delivery.

The Prime Minister directed that both sero-surveys and testing must be scaled up. He said that the facility to get tested regularly, speedily and inexpensively must be available to all at the earliest.

The Prime Minister also underscored the need for continuous and rigorous scientific testing and validation of traditional medicine treatments. He  appreciated the efforts of Ministry of AYUSH for conducting evidence based research and providing reliable solution in this difficult time.