On 12th November 2020, Mission COVID Suraksha was announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Under this mission, Rs. 900 crores are allocated by the Government of India to the research & development of COVID-19 vaccines in the country. The fund is only for research and development and does not cover the cost and distribution of the vaccines.
- Mission COVID Suraksha is a part of the stimulus package which was launched on 12th November 2020 worth Rs 2.65 lakh crores.
- The finance minister announced many other measures of economic stimulus along with the mission.
- Atma Nirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana was also launched with an aim to boost employment in the nation during COVID-19 recovery phase.
India and COVID Vaccines
- At present three COVID vaccines are in trial in India, COVAXIN, ZyCov-D and COVISHIELD vaccine.
- The Indian Council of Medical Research jointly with Bharat Biotech is developing COVAXIN.
- Oxford University collaboratively with Serum Institute of Technology
is developing COVISHIELD.
- Zydus Cadila is developing ZyCov-D.
- All the above-mentioned three vaccines are presently under trials in India.
Apart from these three vaccines, the Russian Vaccine Sputnik V is also under trials in the country.
COVID-19 Vaccines: India Bilateral Agreements
- India and Myanmar signed agreements in October 2020 to collaboratively produce and supply COVID-19 vaccines, as a part of Act East Policy of India.
- Bangladesh in November 2020 signed a deal with Serum Institute of India to purchase 30 million doses of COVID19 vaccines.
India has also seen a wave of COVID-19 cases like other countries. Even after putting up lockdown for a period of time the cases are again on a rise as people have got relaxations. Also, South Africa along with India has proposed relaxing certain provisions of Intellectual Property Agreements for containing COVID-19 pandemic at WTO (World Trade Organization), which is backed by the World Health Organization (WHO).