By Nikhila Natarajan
New York, Sep 17 (IANS) A 57 page "playbook" just in from the US government outlines a comprehensive plan to make the COVID-19 vaccine available free to all Americans once it is proven safe and effective.
The shot wouldn't be broadly available to most of the US population until the summer or fall of 2021, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Dr. Robert Redfield told the Congress on Wednesday.
At this time, public polling is showing that less than 50 per cent of all Americans are willing to get a shot even when the vaccine is widely available.
Any version available this year would be in "very limited supply", Redfield said, while appealing to Americans to mask up because "they really work".
"The goal of the US government is to have enough COVID-19 vaccine for all people in the United States who wish to be vaccinated," read the first page of the report from the CDC.
In an optimistic scenario, US health agencies are hoping for a vaccination campaign to begin in January 2021 or even as early as December 2020 and reach population scale by next summer. The Pentagon would be involved in vaccine distribution while civilian health workers will be pushing needles into bare arms.
The CDC assesses that for most vaccines, people will need two doses about 21 to 28 days apart. These double-dose vaccines will have to come from the same drugmaker.
CDC's existing centralised distributor contract with McKesson, which distributed the H1N1 vaccine in 2009–2010, includes an option for the distribution of vaccines during a pandemic. The McKesson contract can cover rapid distribution of doses of refrigerated (2–8 degrees Celsius) and frozen (-20 degrees Celsius) vaccines.
New Delhi, Sep 22 (IANS) In a key initiative to promote 'Make in India' and give a boost to the government's vision of 'Atmanirbhar Bharat', the country's largest power producer NTPC Ltd has thrown open a vast land bank within its power plants to Indian companies interested in setting up industrial parks and manufacturing facilities.
The power producer has invited expression of interest (EoI) from companies and MSMEs for setting up energy intensive manufacturing plants such as bulk chemicals, geopolymer, cooling & heating solutions, aluminum, mineral processing (ceramics, tiles, pottery, brick, glass etc), metallurgical and metal industries (foundries, forging, alloys, heat treatment, steel rerolling, etc) in the industrial parks to be developed at its existing power plants.
The pilots in this regard would be set up in the NTPC Thermal Power plants at Solapur (Maharashtra), Kudgi (Karnataka) and Gadarwara (Madhya Pradesh), a company statement said.
These industrial parks will be subjected to requisite approvals from respective state and central government. NTPC will process these approvals based on responses received in the EoI, the statement added.
The government has announced a slew of economic packages aimed to build self-reliant India by creating conducive investment environment and developing manufacturing hubs.
NTPC's power plants across the country have evolved into economic centres with robust infrastructure system in place.
Capitalising on the economic ecosystem developed over a period of time, NTPC is exploring ideas to improve utilisation of land within its plant locations for enhancing economic activity and further contributing to economic growth of the country.
The initiative will create industrial parks within the power plants which, besides offering advantage of reliable electricity supply at competitive prices, will provide other benefits of readily available infrastructural services like adequate water supply, accessibility through road and rail network, robust connectivity with internet lease lines, accessibility to township, medical facilities and local market along with various testing facilities which will be co-opted on need basis.
As part of the plan, NTPC will enter into separate agreement with prospective entities for allotment of spaces.
With a total installed capacity of 62.9 GW, NTPC Group has 70 power stations comprising of 24 coal, 7 combined cycle gas/liquid fuel, 1 hydro, 13 renewables along with 25 Subsidiary & JV power stations. The group has over 20 GW of capacity under construction, of which 5GW comprises of renewable energy.