New Delhi: Once India gets go-ahead from the scientists, it will start mass-producing the vaccines and COVID warriors will be the first ones to get its dose, Union minister of state for health Ashwini Kumar Choubey has said. Also Read - Sputnik V: World's First COVID-19 Vaccine Now Available to Public in Russia, Claim Reports

COVID warriors are frontline workers who are handling COVID patients daily, including doctors, health workers, police personnel etc. Also Read - Sputnik V Update: Russia Confirms Deal to Supply 100 Million Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine to India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said mass production of a vaccine for COVID-19 will begin in India once scientists give their nod, and a roadmap was ready to ensure it reaches everyone in the country in the shortest possible time. Also Read - Supreme Court Declines Plea to Stop Patanjali From Using 'Coronil' Name For Its Medicine

“I want to tell people, the talent of our scientists is like that of ‘rishi munis’ and they are working very hard in laboratories. Three vaccines are in various stages of testing. When scientists will give us the green signal, there will be production on a mass scale and all preparations have been made for it,” Modi said.

The Expert Committee on Vaccine Administration under the chairmanship of Dr V K Paul, NITI Aayog, discussed the procurement and distribution. It has decided that the vaccines will be procured centrally. The states should not think of procuring them separately.

Three vaccine candidates are in different stages of human clinical trials in India.

The phase-1 and 2 human clinical trials of two of them, developed indigenously by Bharat Biotech, in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR), and Zydus Cadila Ltd, are currently underway.

The Serum Institute of India has been permitted for conducting Phase 2 and 3 human clinical trials of the third vaccine candidate developed by the Oxford University. The Pune-based institute has partnered with AstraZeneca for manufacturing the vaccine.

Russia, which claimed to have come up with the first vaccine and produced the first batch of it, wull also administer the first shots to health workers.