Covid-19: Expert Group meets domestic vaccine manufactures

The National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration today met leading domestic vaccine manufactures - Serum Institute of India (Pune), Bharat Biotech (Hyderabad), Zydus Cadila (Ahmedabad), Gennova Biopharmaceuticals (Pune) and Biological E (Hyderabad), moving forward with the government’s policy of making maximum use of locally available medicines and vaccines for treatment of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic..

A health ministry release said the meeting was mutually beneficial and productive.
It provided the National Expert Group with inputs about the present stage of various candidate vaccines being developed by the indigenous manufacturers as well as their expectations from the union government.
As per the government’s avowed policy, India will leverage domestic vaccine manufacturing capacity while also engaging with international agencies for early delivery of vaccines for the control of the coronavirus pandemic, the expert group on vaccine administration for Covid-19 said on Wednesday
The National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19, at its first meeting on Wednesday, deliberated on conceptualisation and implementation mechanisms for creation of a digital infrastructure for inventory management and delivery mechanism of the vaccine, including tracking of vaccination process with particular focus on last mile delivery. 
Covid-19 vaccine candidates for the country will be selected on the basis of inputs from the Standing Technical Sub-Committee of National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI). 
The group also deliberated on the procurement mechanisms for Covid-19 vaccine, including both indigenous and international manufacturing as also the guiding principles for prioritisation of population groups for vaccination.
The expert group discussed the procurement mechanism, including financial resources required for procurement of Covid-19 vaccine and various options of financing it. 
Besides, the group deliberated upon the delivery platforms, cold chain and associated infrastructure for roll-out of Covid-19 vaccination as also strategy and follow-up action on all possible scenarios to ensure equitable and transparent delivery of vaccine. Issues related to vaccine safety and surveillance were also taken up and strategy for community involvement through transparent information and awareness creation were discussed.
India’s support to its key neighbours as also in low and middle income countries and development partner countries for Covid-19 vaccines were deliberated upon. 
The committee also advised states and union territories not to chart separate pathways of procurement.