India’s health ministry announced on Tuesday that some vaccines for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) are likely to receive licenses in the next few weeks and outlined an initial plan to immunize 300 million people.
Health officials said three vaccine companies have applied for early approval for emergency use in India: Serum Institute of India, which has been licensed to manufacture the AstraZeneca vaccine, Pfizer Inc., and Indian manufacturer Bharat Biotech.
“Some of them may get licensed in the next few weeks,” Federal Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said.
India says its initial immunization plan revolves around three priority groups: 10 million healthcare workers, 20 million front-line workers such as the police and military, and 270 million other people either above age 50 or who have diseases that make them more vulnerable to Covid-19′s effects.
The health ministry has previously set a target of August 2021 for immunizing these people.
India’s population is nearly 1.4 billion.Bhushan said India would rely on its existing immunization programs, which are among the largest in the world. Every year, India immunizes 26 million infants and 30 million pregnant women with 300 million vaccine doses. SOVEREIGNPH