As the COVID-19 pandemic rages through the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday held a meeting to review India’s vaccination strategy and discussed important issues related to the progress of vaccine development, regulatory approvals, and procurement.

“Held a meeting to review India’s vaccination strategy and the way forward. Important issues related to progress of vaccine development, regulatory approvals and procurement were discussed,” Modi said.

“Reviewed various issues like prioritisation of population groups, reaching out to HCWs, cold-chain Infrastructure augmentation, adding vaccinators and tech platform for vaccine roll-out,” he added.

Currently, five vaccine candidates are currently undergoing clinical trials in India. These include vaccines developed by Oxford University – AstraZeneca, Bharat Biotech, Cadila, Biological E – Baylor College of Medicine and Gamaleya Research Institute, Moscow.

Bharat Biotech has started their third phase COVID-19 vaccine trials from November 20 (today). 

Meanwhile, final results from Pfizer Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine trial showed its shot had a 95 percent success rate and two months of safety data, paving the way for the drugmaker to apply for an emergency US authorization within days, it said on Wednesday.

The vaccine’s efficacy rate, the highest of any candidate in late-stage clinical trials so far, was welcomed by experts who had already said that interim results showing Pfizer’s shot was over 90 per cent effective were very encouraging.

Pfizer said there were 170 cases of COVID-19 in its trial of more than 43,000 volunteers and only eight people with the disease had been given the shot rather than a placebo, meaning the vaccine had a 95 per cet efficacy rate. Of the 10 people who developed severe COVID-19, one had received the vaccine.

India`s coronavirus tally crossed the 90-lakh mark on Friday with 45,882 new infections in the last 24 hours, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The total cases in the country now stands at 90,04,366 including 4,43,794 active cases and 84,28,409 recoveries. With 584 new deaths, the toll mounted to 1,32,162. 

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