COVID-19 Vaccine – Will you be the first one to receive a vaccine shot?

COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker:

  • More than 160 vaccine candidates in pre-clinical or clinical trials around the world
  • 29 vaccine candidates are in a clinical trial
  • 6 vaccine candidates in the final stage i.e. phase 3 human trails
  • 8 vaccine candidates are been developed in India, Two of these candidates have entered phase two trial after completing the phase one trail

Recent Development:

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morison said the government would offer free vaccine shots to the entire 25 million population. This may lead to vaccine nationalism, which the World Health Organisation has condemned strongly.

The answer to the question is:

Various nations have set up various committees to come up with a strategic plan for the proper distribution of the vaccine, let’s dive in to know more.

India’s Plan:

  • Most nations, including India, are unanimous on the first recipients. They would be the frontline health care workers with direct exposure to COVID-19 patients. But currently, there’s no straight answer upon the next recipient group of the vaccine.
  • In June, the WHO had come up with a tentative plan of “Strategic allocation” of the coronavirus vaccine.
  • It states that health workers should be given priority, followed by adults older than 65 years of age and those having co-morbidities such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, or chronic respiratory diseases.
  • In India, the Indian government has set up a National Expert Group to deliberate on the principles for prioritization of population groups for vaccination among other things.
  • The Indian Council of Medical Research has said the vaccine should be made available to the health workers first.
  • A subgroup of the Centre for Disease Control’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has suggested a “Tiered System” on prioritizing vaccine recipients, according to a report in “Journal Science”.
  • Tiered System – Basically means dividing the population in tiers. The top tier includes 12 million “highest risk” healthcare professionals and national security workers.
  • The ACIP committee suggested that tier two and three should include 110 million people who work in other essential jobs i.e. meatpackers, grocery store owners, etc. or the people who are 65 years older, living in long-term care facilities, or those with the medical condition known to increase the risk of developing COVID-19.
  • The final two tiers include the “general population” of 206 million people.

Russia’s Plan:

  • Russia, which became the first country to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine, said the first batch of vaccine shots will be received primarily by doctors on a voluntary basis followed by teachers.

“We will begin the stage by stage civilian use of the vaccine. First and foremost, we would like to offer vaccination to those who come into contact with infected persons at work. These are medical workers and also those who are responsible for children’s health – teachers.” Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko told TASS news agency.

European Union’s Plan:

  • EU member states are likely to individually determine which group will have first access to a vaccine, once it becomes available.
  • According to Euro News, the first people who will be vaccinated are those in high-risk jobs, such as doctors and nurses.
  • Second in line are likely those most vulnerable to infection due to their pre-conditions or age.

Canada’s Plan:

  • In Canada, the National Advisory Committee on Immunisation has recommended prioritizing people with a health condition that are risk factors for COVID-19, such as Asthma, Diabetes, Hypertension, Chronic Lung Disease, and Cardio Vascular disease,
  • Followed by those whose jobs make them more susceptible, such as emergency and healthcare workers.
  • Third to the line are those living in long-term care, crowded or remote locations, and people with tobacco, alcohol, or drug use disorders.         

Source: ET Healthworld, Aug’20 ; LiveMint, Aug’20 & Various Analytical News Reports, 2020.

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