Doctors, nurses and all frontline workers against coronavirus as well as the vulnerable sections of the general population will get first access once a vaccine for the novel coronavirus is found, a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided today. Research is on across the world for a vaccine for the disease which has affected 10 million people and killed more than .5 million.
Sources said the distribution order was part of a four-point action plan after the availability of a vaccine, which was finalized by the Prime Minister today.
The plan included the management of medical supply chains, prioritizing at risk populations, coordination between different agencies and the role of the private sector and the civil society.
Sources said the government will follow the "anyone anywhere" module for vaccination. There will be no domicile-related restriction for the vaccine.
It was also decided that vaccination should be universal and affordable.
The high-level meeting also decided that there will be real time monitoring of production and production capabilities.
India is in the fourth position in a list of the nations hit worst by the virus -- just after US, Brazil and Russia.
So far, the virus has infected more than 5.6 lakh people. Over the last 24 hours, the country recorded 18,522 new cases, taking the total to 5,66,840. More than 16,800 patients have died since the beginning of the pandemic, data from the Union health ministry shows.
Around 90 per cent of total infections in India are from ten states - Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Telengana, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana and Karnataka.
Yesterday, the government announced the second phase of the country's emergence from the lockdown to slow down the progress of the disease. The guidelines, however, said containment zones ill remain under lockdown, which translated to vast swaths of the country.
There will be no big-ticket changes yet like opening of schools and colleges, cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, bars and assembly halls or metro services will not happen yet, the government said.