New Delhi, November 30: Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has said that a vaccine against coronavirus (COVID-19) is likely to be available in India in early 2021. During a discussion which was telecast yesterday, Dr Harsh Vardhan also said nearly 30 crore Indians will be inoculated the COVID-19 vaccine by June or July, 2021. India accounts for the second-highest number of coronavirus cases in the world. India May Not Require Pfizer-BioNTech’s Vaccine Against COVID-19, Says Harsh Vardhan.

"As per the internal reports available with us, the talks that are on, I am fully hopeful of a vaccine being available in the beginning of 2021, a safe vaccine with good efficacy," Dr Harsh Vardhan said. "Regarding its availability to the public, there is no denying that we can’t inoculate 135 crore people all at once. However, as per our planning, by June-July, almost 30 crore people will get the vaccine," he added. Covishield Vaccine: Emergency Use Authorisation Request in Two Weeks, Govt Likely to Buy 300-400 Million Doses by July, Says Adar Poonawalla.

The Health Minister said the healthcare workers and frontline workers in government, as well as private sectors such as police personnel, municipal employees and those above the age of 65, would be provided with the COVID-19 vaccine in the first phase. "We will track where the vaccine is stored, at what temperature, and provide training to our vaccinators, as well as organisations such as NGOs which would be roped in," he said.

"We have already started talks with NGOs… So I assure people that very soon, in the next few months, we will have a safe, effective vaccine, developed and researched in the country," Dr Harsh Vardhan assured. Last week, he said that India may not require Pfizer's vaccine against coronavirus disease, with other vaccine candidates being tested in the country showing promising results in safety trials so far.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Nov 30, 2020 08:28 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website