In a conversation with Mitali Mukherjee, Dr Naresh Trehan, chairman and managing director of Medanta, said opening up the vaccination process was a welcome move and would help give impetus to the rate of vaccinations. Trehan said allowing 20,000 private centres would increase the vaccination rate to between 4-5 lakh per day.
When asked why the vaccination drive was not being opened to all, Trehan said once processes had smoothed out for phase 2, phase 3 should be open to all.
He also said he did not foresee a supply-side problem as the Serum Institute of India had indicated it was capable of scaling up vaccine production as required, for India. On the issue of phase III trials for Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and bridging trials for Covishield, he said the data and efficacy so far indicated both vaccines were robust and safe.
Dr Trehan also said CII’s recommendation was that pricing must be fixed by the government and Rs 200 -250 per dose seemed like a fair price for the vaccine.