India plans to have around half a billion Covid vaccine doses next summer

New Delhi, Oct 4 (efe-epa).- India plans to have 400 to 500 million doses of a Covid-19 vaccine to cover between 200 to 250 million people by next July, the health minister said Sunday.

A future vaccine would first be administered to strategically important sectors such as healthcare and high-risk groups including older people, according to Harsh Vardham.

“Government plans to receive and utilize 400-500 Million Covid-19 Vaccine doses,” he said during a discussion on the latest developments in the coronavirus strategy.

“Topmost priority in COVID-19 immunization to be given to frontline healthcare workers,” he added.

With a population of 1.35 billion people, the number announced by the health minister on Sunday would still appear insufficient.

Vardhan said the process of procuring and distributing the vaccine would be centralized and highly coordinated to minimize the chances of black market involvement.

“Government is committed to taking all measures to ensure equitable access to vaccines,” he said.

The announcement comes as India maintains its unenviable claim to having the second-highest Covid-19 caseload in the world behind the United States. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in the Asian nations surpassed 100,000 on Saturday.

The Indian health ministry insists the situation was under control, with the number of active cases decreasing and remaining below one million for two consecutive weeks.

There were 937,635 active cases reported on Sunday, 7,371 fewer than the previous day.

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