New Delhi: The Indian government is all set to launch a new comprehensive online platform where all the data related to vaccine strategies, vaccination and vaccine availability will be updated.
The new platform will help formulate vaccine strategies like using single doses of vaccines, dosage mixing and look at currently implemented ones like the gap between vaccines doses, The Indian Express reported quoting officials who are familiar with the development.
"A platform is being established where three sets of administrative data in terms of diagnostic data, vaccine data and the overall disease data are to be harmonised. Based on that, we will look at vaccine effectiveness, reinfections and trends as vaccine coverage increases," Dr N K Arora, chairman of the COVID working group under the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI), said to the Indian Express.
The vaccine-tracking platform is expected to work using existing platforms developed by the Centre to track COVID cases and vaccinations. This includes the use of the RT-PCR and Aarogya Setu app, which has collected data on testing and confirmation of cases, and the CoWIN platform created to help people register, book and receive certificates for vaccinations.
According to Dr Arora, discussions to study the effectiveness of vaccines had begun in March-April and were focused on studying the efficacy of vaccines in real-world situations. Currently, India is relying on data from other countries to formulate its own vaccine strategy although experts are now calling for the country to collect its own data in order to understand vaccine efficacy in real-time.
Another aim of the review is to understand whether a single dose is effective, a source close to the development told The Indian Express on condition of anonymity. "An argument being placed is that other viral vector vaccines have single-dose versions, and this might work for Covishield too, which started as a single-dose vaccine," the source said.
The Government plans to review the impact of its decision to extend the interval between Covishield doses once it collects data from a newly proposed Covid vaccine tracker platform that it will launch shortly, claimed the Express. The data, sources said, may also help the Government decide whether to approve a single-dose regimen for Covishield.
Currently, Johnson and Johnson are offering single-dose vaccines while Russia's Sputnik vaccine is now also being offered as a single dose option. The single-dose option could help boost India's flagging vaccination drive which has been hit by major shortages.
The idea is to study aspects like breakthrough infections following vaccinations and the severity of infections post-immunisation, said Arora. The data from the new platform is expected to be analysed around August, sources said.
"This will give an idea of how long you are likely to be protected from the disease after immunisation… It will also tell us the impact of increasing the interval between doses on vaccine efficacy and whether there is a need for modification either by increasing or decreasing the interval," Arora said, adding that the data will be reviewed "two to three months later".
While the date to launch this platform has not been announced as yet, it is expected to be ready "very soon," according to Arora. "We are in a position to better utilise the data, which is collected from all over the country, and see how it can be used for guiding policy and vaccine effectiveness in the actual world," he said.
Dr. Arora also said that the platform would help in case of future such diseases that require vaccination strategies as well.