New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday reviewed the government’s preparedness for coronavirus vaccine delivery, distribution and administration. PM Modi reviewed the preparations of the digital database for Covid-19 vaccine, cold chains, transportation and also vaccine priority groups.

Modi tweeted that the meeting discussed important issues related to progress of vaccine development, regulatory approvals and procurement.

"Reviewed various issues like prioritisation of population groups, reaching out to HCWs (health care workers), cold-chain infrastructure augmentation, adding vaccinators and tech platform for vaccine roll-out," he said.

The meeting was attended by Principal Secretary to PM, Cabinet Secretary, Member (Health) NITI Aayog, Principal Scientific Advisor, Secretary Health, DG ICMR, officers of PMO, and other officials of the central government.

The Prime Minister directed that a time-bound plan be laid out for speedy regulatory clearances and timely procurement for early roll-out of the vaccination drive when a vaccine becomes available, an official statement later said.

Database, cold chain augmentation and transportation mechanisms are being readied, with digital platform for vaccine delivery and monitoring being prepared and tested in consultation with all stakeholders, it said.

Modi also reviewed the aspects of emergency use authorisation and for manufacture and procurement of medicine.

As the results of phase-III trials from national and international vaccine arrive, our robust and independent regulators will speedily and rigorously examine these for according authorisation for use, the statement said.

Five vaccine candidates are in advanced stages of development in India, out of which four are in Phase II/III and one is in Phase-I/II.

Countries such as Bangladesh, Myanmar, Qatar, Bhutan, Switzerland, Bahrain, Austria and South Korea have shown keen interest in partnering for vaccine development of Indian vaccines and use, the statement said.

In the meeting, the prime minister appreciated the efforts of innovators, scientists, academicians and pharma companies to develop vaccines and directed that every effort should be made to facilitate research, development and manufacturing of the vaccine.

In an effort to administer the vaccine, a database of healthcare and frontline workers, augmentation of cold chains and procurement of syringes, needles, etc. are being done, which have reached advanced stages of preparation.

Meanwhile, the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC) has accelerated the implementation of vaccination of priority groups in the first phase after consulting with state governments.