India’s Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan has confirmed that the Centre is planning to start the vaccination drive against coronavirus by January 13. “We are ready to roll out Covid vaccines within 10 days of the grant of emergency use authorisation (EUA). The Drug Controller gave the EUA to the vaccines on January 3. The final call on the date of the rollout will be taken by the government,” Bhushan said.

The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved the emergency use of two vaccines — the Serum Institute of India-manufactured Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.

According to Bhushan, the country is not just ready to rollout the vaccine but also prepared to start exporting the vaccine to the other parts of the world.

“Vaccines are global public goods and the government has not initiated any ban on exports,” he said.

The Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech has made it clear that they will jointly ensure a smooth rollout of the vaccines to India and rest of the world.

Serum Institute chief Adar Poonawala and Biotech chairman Krishna Ella released a joint statement, saying: “Vaccines have the power to save lives and accelerate the return of economic normalcy at the earliest. Now that two Covid vaccines have been issued the EUA in India, the focus is on manufacturing, supply and distribution, such that populations that need it the most receive high quality, safe and efficacious vaccines. Both our companies are fully engaged in this activity and consider it our duty to the nation and the world at large to ensure a smooth rollout of vaccines.”