The panel to select a suitable vaccine, and work on finances and logistical aspects for distribution and administration in India

New Delhi: Under the leadership of NITI Aayog member VK Paul, a panel of experts is scheduled to meet on Wednesday to discuss the “logistical and ethical aspects” for procuring and administering the COVID-19 vaccine as announced by the Union health ministry on Tuesday.

This decision comes at a time when Russia has claimed to have developed the world’s first COVID vaccine.

With Paul at the helm, the committee will convene meetings with all the stakeholders including vaccine manufacturers and state governments to select a suitable vaccine and ways of procuring and delivering it.

The committee is constituted with members of all the relevant ministries and institutions which are likely to look after all the intricacies of a COVID vaccine.

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It has been asked to identify the vaccine which would be most fitted for India and lay out a plan for purchasing as such a vaccine may cost in billions and how to distribute and administer to the population.

The panel as formed by the cabinet secretary on Friday will include AIIMS director Randeep Guleria, representatives from ministry of external affairs, biotechnology, information technology, the director general of health services, India’s Aids Research Institute, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), and also representatives from states.

The committee is also tasked to look into aspects related to logistics like cold chain and inventory, arrangement of resources for procuring the vaccine and issues of equity.

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This expert group will continue its engagement with all state governments and vaccine manufacturers in India, as addressed in a press briefing by the health ministry on Tuesday.

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