The United Kingdom has approved the use of Oxford and AstraZeneca vaccine and plans to roll out the vaccine on the fourth of January. The British Health Regulator has given its nod for the regimen with two full doses.
The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is the second vaccine approved by the British government, it is likely to allow the UK to significantly ramp up its inoculation programme as this vaccine is far cheaper than the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine and does not need to be kept at ultra-low temperatures.
These are the advantages due to which several developing and developed nations, like India have also pinned their hopes on it.
Earlier today, speaking to CNBC-TV18, Serum Institute's Chairman Cyrus Poonawalla said that the company expects the regulatory nod in India in the next few days, but he added that the Indian government has not placed an order for the COVID vaccine with Serum Institute just yet.
To take this discussion forward, CNBC-TV18’s Shereen Bhan is in conversation with Abhay Soi, Chairman and Managing Director at Max Healthcare; Viren Shetty, Executive Director and Group COO at Narayana Health and Doctor Sudarshan Ballal, Chairman of The Medical Advisory Board at Manipal Hospitals.
Abhay Soi said, “The state government has taken comprehensive data with respect to all healthcare workers, their age, and so on and so forth. In certain states like Delhi, the government sought and we provided them with the number of volunteers we will provide for the inoculation programme, so there has been exchanges of data, but we are yet to hear back for them when and how they are planning to proceed.”
Viren Shetty said, “If the government wants us to give up our facilities it as storage facilities, we will do that. If they want us to send our doctors into rural villages to do inoculation we will do that, we are here to help but we haven’t been approached. Nothing has been communicated to us and it is likely that maybe we are not a part of that and that is fair as well because the public healthcare facilities are far vaster and much more spread across the country than private hospitals.”
Sudarshan Ballal said, “I do believe that this should be a public-private partnership (PPP) otherwise it would be impossible to vaccinate 1.4 billion people and we are willing to provide any kind of support but I do believe that at an initial stage it will be tightly controlled by the government because there would be a shortage of vaccines and they will have to have some form of control. But we are willing to contribute in any which way that is possible.”
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