Scientists are working hard on coronavirus vaccine and if their efforts bear fruit, COVID-19 warriors will be the first ones to get the dose, Union Minister of State for Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey said on Saturday.
Interacting with reporters on the sidelines of the Independence Day celebrations at the Red Fort, he also hailed the National Digital Health Mission unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the nation.
"This is a historic day for the country's health sector. On the auspicious occasion of our Independence Day, our PM announced this mission. This will bring widespread change in the field of health," Mr Choubey said.
PM Modi on Saturday unveiled the ambitious National Digital Health Mission under which every Indian will get a health ID that will ease access to medical services and he also announced that the country has made plans for mass-producing COVID-19 vaccine once scientists give a green signal.
"Our scientists are working very hard on it. Three vaccines against COVID-19 are in various stages of testing. And, if we do succeed in getting a vaccine, our COVID warriors will be the first one to receive the dose," the minister of state for health said.
PM Modi in his address said, "When scientists will give us the green signal, it will be produced on a mass scale and all preparations have been made for it."
"So, our PM has spelt it out that this government is determined to fight its way out of the coronavirus crisis," Mr Chaubey said.
Asked about the health ID card for each citizen that will be provided under the National Digital Health Mission, the Union minister said it will facilitate heathcare access to people.
"The card will carry the medical history of the patient, and a doctor will be able to access prior information on ailments and treatment, if any, and begin treatment," he said.
Mr Choubey said if a citizen travels from Patna to Bangalore, a doctor in the southern city will be able to access health-related data on the Patna patient, and respond faster.
PM Modi in his address said this mission will bring a new revolution in India's health sector and it will reduce problems in getting treatment with the help of technology.
The health ID will contain information about medical data, prescriptions and diagnostic reports and summaries of previous discharge from hospitals for ailments.
The mission is expected to bring efficiency and transparency in healthcare services in the country.
On coronavirus vaccine, PM Modi said the country has prepared a roadmap to ensure that a COVID-19 vaccine reaches everyone in the shortest possible time.
He said three vaccine candidates are in different stages of trials in the country.
The phase 1 and 2 human clinical trials of two of the vaccine candidates, developed indigenously by Bharat Biotech, in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR), and Zydus Cadila Ltd, are currently underway.
The Serum Institute of India has been permitted to conduct Phase 2 and 3 human clinical trials of the third vaccine candidate developed by the Oxford University. The Pune-based institute has partnered with AstraZeneca for manufacturing the vaccine.