Common people in the country, who need medical care the most, will not have access to the corona virus (Covid-19) vaccine until 2022, Dr Randeep Guleria, director of AIIMS and a member of the national task force on corona virus management, has said, adding that it will take “more than a year” for the vaccine to be readily available in the Indian market .
“In our country the population is large; we need time to see how the vaccine can be bought from the market like a flu vaccine and take it.That will actually be the ideal situation,”, Dr Guleria said in an interview with CNN-News 18.
Dr Guleria said the country needs to set up the necessary infrastructure, like maintaining a cold chain for safe distribution of the vaccine and for ensuring that it reaches every part of the country.
“Maintaining the cold chain, having adequate work across the country, syringes, adequate needles and being able to deliver it to the remotest part of the country in a seamless manner is the biggest challenge,” he said.
Also, Guleria said, it would be possible that another, more effective, vaccine comes out later. So a means has to be found as to how to position it. How do we do a course correction? How to then decide who needs vaccine A and who needs vaccine B? A lot of decisions need to be taken as we go along,” the AIIMS director said.
The worst part is that, the vaccine will not eliminate chances of corona virus infection, according to the doctor.
India has also committed to use its capabilities in vaccine production and delivery to help humanity in fighting the Covid crisis.
On the sudden spike in the number of Covid-19 cases in Delhi, Dr Guleria said there are several factors responsible for this. “One is the weather. We know that respiratory viruses spike in the winter months; we have seen a drop in temperature in Delhi. There are higher chances of the virus surviving in outdoor air and people tend to crowd indoors during winters. The third factor is air pollution which is also contributing to the spike,” he said.
Meanwhile, India's Covid-19 caseload went past 8,5 million, while the number of people who have recovered from the deadly viral disease jumped to 78,68,968 taking the national recovery rate to 92.49 per cent.
According to the union health ministry data updated on Sunday, the total coronavirus cases mounted to 85,07,754 with 45,674 infections being reported in a day. The total death toll reached 1,26,121 with 559 new fatalities in the last 24 hours.
The case fatality rate stands at 1.48 per cent. The number of active cases of Covid-19 remained below 6 lakh for the tenth consecutive day.
There are 5,12,665 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country as on date which comprises 6.03 per cent of the total caseload, as per the data.