Union health minister Harsh Vardhan informed the Rajya Sabha said the Covid-19 vaccine could become available in India by the beginning of 2021.

“We hope that by the beginning of the next year we will get a vaccine. We are also coordinating with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other bodies. We are among the few countries that have managed to isolate the virus. There are around 40,000 samples that are being studied,” Hindustan Times quoted Vardhan as saying.

The minister, however, pointed that even after the vaccine is ready, it will not reach everyone immediately.

He also emphasized that following the social distancing guideline is the most important norm against the Covid-19 fight.

Minister Vardhan further mentioned various issues related to the availability, affordability of a vaccine.

“We have to break the chain of transmission. The mask is our greatest protector. After the lockdown was eased, people felt the virus had been controlled. But we need to follow hygiene protocols, continue distancing, and wear masks.

“The transmission is taking place because of our carelessness. We should consider wearing a mask and maintaining a two-yard distance from other people as the best social vaccine,” Vardhan said.

He said that India has been at the forefront in handling the pandemic from January.

Vardhan said that the country has come a long way in handling the fight against COVID-19.

Countries like the United States of America were trying to learn about it when the novel coronavirus outburst took place, he said.

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