Assist with COVID vaccine roll-out: UGC to universities

COVID-19 Vaccine: The health ministry had written to UGC in early January. Universities are expected to help disseminate information.

Assist with COVID vaccine roll-out: UGC to universities Two Indian manufactured vaccines — Covishield and Covaxin (source:Twitter)
Abhay Anand | Jan 14, 2021 - 10:39 a.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: The health ministry has written to the University Grants Commission (UGC) seeking the cooperation of universities with mass vaccination against the coronavirus. Universities and institutions are expected to help disseminate information related to the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out among people.

The Centre has announced that the COVID-19 vaccination drive will begin in the country on January 16, when nearly 30 million healthcare and frontline workers will be inoculated.

Earlier, on January 3, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) approved two Indian manufactured vaccines — Covishield, the vaccine developed by U.K.’s AstraZeneca and Oxford University and being manufactured by Serum Institute of India (SII), and Covaxin, manufactured by Bharat Biotech.

The UGC secretary Rajnish Jain in his letter to universities has stated that a smooth and successful roll-out of the vaccination programme requires pro-active support of all stakeholders including universities and colleges. “Universities have an important role to play through their network and other platforms to support the campaign for the roll-out of the vaccination programme. I write this to seek your personal intervention for successful implementation of the vaccination programme,” says the letter.

COVID-19 vaccine information

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has stated that in the face of such a swift evolving scenario of vaccine development and rollout, one of the challenges is to ensure that the over 1.3 billion people in India receive factually correct and prompt information and updates on vaccine benefits and rollout progress.

“We will need to actively collaborate towards building such an environment of universal vaccine acceptability and the key will be an effective communication action plan for proactive dissemination at all levels (state, district, block, village, family level). A vaccine roll out of this scale is not possible without pm-active support of key stakeholders. The Ministry of Education has collaborated with MoHFW as an equal ptu-iner hitherto and specially during the outbreak of COVID-19. I would request you to kindly support the campaign roll out with support from University Networks and Online talk platforms as well as leverage points of large footfalls,” the letter from MoHFW secretary reads.

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