In establishing collaboration with other health programs and sectors for optimal vaccine delivery, countries should also draw on their experience in adult vaccine delivery platforms, including experience with vaccination against seasonal and pandemic influenza, and Vaccination campaigns against measles, rubella and Japanese encephalitis, to find ways to reach eligible adults with covid-19 vaccines, the expert panel said.
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The panel also said that adjustments should be made to vaccination strategies in accordance with covid-19 prevention measures and plans developed for demand generation, community participation, and risk communication, with special consideration for overcome doubts about the vaccine. Countries should leverage the use of existing networks, including those for polio, to support the deployment of covid-19 vaccines where appropriate.
The expert group highlighted the need for all countries to assess available cold chain space and meticulously plan cold chain requirements, including necessary improvements in warehousing, stock management, delivery strategy of vaccines and waste management.
The expert group also made a series of recommendations, including accelerating the development of the national deployment and vaccination plan, the application of the guidelines provided by the “Framework of values for the allocation and prioritization of covid-19 vaccines” and the “prioritization roadmap” to identify priority populations and ensure equity in the delivery of covid-19 vaccines, especially during the early stages when the supply of vaccines is expected to be limited.
WHO national regulatory authorities and vaccine manufacturers in the WHO South-East Asia Region discussed on Friday speeding up the launch of the covid-19 vaccine in member countries.
The meeting deliberated on the processes and schedules to accelerate the registration of covid-19 vaccines in countries that use emergency use listing procedures and at the same time understand the landscape of covid-19 vaccine production in region.
“Establishing accelerated regulatory pathways for vaccine approval and adjusting regulatory pathways to the type of vaccine being developed and submitted for approval remains critical, as emergency use authorization will precede full licensing.” said Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO regional director for the Southeast Asia Region.
While vaccine licensing systems may need to be modified, it would be vital to have standard operating procedures and stipulated timelines for emergency use authorization, he said.
The regional director emphasized effective coordination, collaboration and information sharing. From research and development to production, and from country readiness information to post-market surveillance, manufacturers, regulators, policymakers and planners must continue to work together to optimize and perfect vaccine deployment.
Key partners at the global and regional level participated in the meeting, such as Gavi and Unicef. Among the vaccine manufacturers, from India, Bharat Biotech International Ltd, Biological E Ltd, Cadila Healthcare Ltd, Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd and Wockhardt Ltd; from Indonesia, Bio Farma Ltd; and from Thailand, the Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO), Bionet Asia Co. Ltd and Siam Bioscience, participated in the meeting.
Previously, WHO organized a meeting of cold chain managers from countries in the South-East Asia region to help assess cold chain needs, identify gaps and plan appropriate actions.
As India prepares for COVID-19 vaccination programs, the total number of COVID-19 cases rose to 9,797,065 and the death toll rose to 1.42,335 on Friday.
The number of new daily cases in the last 24 hours is 29,398. India’s current active case load consists of 3.71% of all positive cases in India.
At least 72.39% of new cases are concentrated in 10 states and UT. Kerala reported the highest number of new cases daily with 4,470. Maharashtra follows with 3,824 new cases. At least 414 cases of death have been reported in the last 24 hours. Ten states / UT account for 79.95% of new deaths, said the Union Ministry of Health.
Maharashtra saw the most casualties (70). Delhi and West Bengal follow with 61 and 49 daily deaths, respectively, the government said.