The Union Health Ministry has written to the University Grants Commission asking for the cooperation of the universities with the mass vaccination against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The ministry has stated that the universities and institutions are expected to help in disseminating information regarding the COVID-19 vaccine roll out among the people. The centre has also announced that the vaccination drive will commence from January 16, 2021, with more than 30 million healthcare and frontline workers to be inoculated.
The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) had approved two Indian manufacturers on January 3, 2021, which are Covidshield which is developed by UK’s AstraZeneca and Oxford University manufactured by Serum Institute of India and Covaxin which is manufactured by Bharat Biotech.
Support required from stakeholders
In the letter issued by UGC Secretary Rajnish Jain has stated that a smooth and successful roll-out of the vaccination programme required to be proactive supporting all the stakeholders including universities and colleges. The UGC secretary further added that the universities have an important role to play with the network and their platforms to support the campaign for the roll-out of the vaccination programme. He has also asked for personal intervention for successful implementation of the vaccination programme.
The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has stated that the face of an evolving scenario of vaccination development and its rollout has challenges including to ensure that over 1.3 billion people in the country receive correct and prompt information and updates related to the benefit of the vaccine and the rollout process.
According to a letter from the Ministry, active collaboration for building an environment of universal vaccine acceptability and effective communication will be an important action plan to disseminate all levels. Rolling out the vaccine at such a level is not possible without the support of key stakeholders.