Allaying concerns over the safety of the Covid-19 vaccine, Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Sunday that he would be happy to take the first dose of vaccine.
He said that while no date had been fixed for the vaccine launch, it might be ready by the first quarter of 2021.
Vardhan assured that the vaccine would be first made available to those who needed it the most, irrespective of their paying capacity.
The minister said that the government was considering emergency authorisation of Covid-19 vaccination, especially in the case of senior citizens and people working in high-risk settings. “This shall be done after a consensus has been reached,” he said.
The health minister was answering questions posed on social media through his ‘Sunday Samvad’ programme regarding the current Covid-19 situation and government’s approach to it.
He said that the government was taking full precautions in conducting human trials of the vaccine and the national expert group on vaccine administration for Covid-19 was drawing up a detailed strategy on how to immunise a majority of the population. “Issues like vaccine security, cost, equity, cold-chain requirements, production timelines etc., are also being discussed intensely,” he said.