The Centre should formulate clear guidelines on the development of vaccines for COVID-19 besides decentralising the authority for fast-tracking testing and approvals, Telangana Minister KT Rama Rao said on Thursday.
In a letter to Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Harsh Vardhan, he also said as the whole world waits for the first vaccine to get approved, a robust procurement policy should be formulated in consultation with the industry to ensure vaccine availability and its equitable distribution.
Mr Rao, son of chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, said there was a requirement for clear guidelines on the licensing of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and WHO (World Health Organisation) have already published guidelines on the development and the process for issuing licenses for COVID vaccine.
"There is a need for similar guidelines in India to help facilitate the timely development of safe and effective vaccines for COVID-19. These guidelines shall also remove subjectivity and allow all manufacturers to adhere to common guidelines and standards.
"Request the Government of India to make these guidelines available at the earliest to facilitate Indian vaccine manufacturers, he said in the letter, according to an official release.
Mr Rao said the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO)s zonal office here should be delegated more powers and authority, with additional resources to help industries with expeditious clearances and immensely contribute to the Aatma Nirbhar Bharat.
He recently interacted with biotech industry leaders and companies involved in vaccine development.
City-based Bharat Biotech's anti-COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin is among the candidates under human trial phase now.
He suggested that the country needed to have a regulatory framework that can hold good for global competition and ensure quality with speed to fast track development of vaccines and also the biotech industry in general.
The minister opined that besides the Rs 100 crore fund from the PM CARES to support indigenous vaccine development, another fund may be set up to support manufacturing companies in advanced stages of clinical trials to help scale up their production capacities.
Rama Rao requested the union minister to constitute a high-level empowered committee with representation from key officials from the Centre, the states and the industry on an expeditious basis to formulate strategic plan to expedite the development to of vaccine from the country for Covid-19, asserting India's position as the global vaccine hub.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)