India aims to vaccinate 300 million against Covid by July | DW News
India prepares for mass vaccination of the population
One of the world’s largest Covid-19 vaccination campaigns kicks off in India this weekend.
India prepares for one of the world’s largest mass vaccination events.
South Asian country plans to vaccinate about 300 million people in the first phase of the exercise, or more than 20% of its 1.3 billion population.
Indian Airlines has begun delivering the first doses of vaccines to Delhi and other major cities including Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Bangalore Tech Center, the Minister of Civil Aviation tweeted Hardeep Singh Puri (Hardeep Singh Puri).
Priority will be given to medical workers and other frontline workers – approximately 30 million people. They will be followed by people over 50 and other younger people at high risk..
The vaccination process will involve closer collaboration between central government and states.
India has also developed a digital portal called «Co-WIN Vaccine Delivery Management System». According to the Ministry of Health, it will provide real-time information on «vaccine stocks, storage temperatures and individual tracking of beneficiaries».
«India’s expertise in vaccine manufacturing and experience with mass immunization campaigns has prepared it well for the first phase to begin this weekend», – wrote in his report this week, Eurasia Group’s South Asia analyst Akhil Beri (Akhil Bery).
«India has a rich history of immunization campaigns, including the universal immunization program, which vaccinates 55 million people a year. The country will rely on this expertise to spread coronavirus vaccines», – he added.
Indian Regulatory Authority Approves Limited Use Of Two Coronavirus Vaccines In Emergencies, Both Of Which Will Be Delivered To Various Vaccination Centers By Saturday.
One is a vaccine developed by the British Swedish firm AstraZeneca and Oxford University, produced domestically by the Serum Institute of India (SII) and known locally as Covishield.
Another vaccine, called Covaxin, was developed by the Indian company Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the State Council for Medical Research of India. She was granted permission for emergency use as clinical trials are still ongoing.
Covaxin’s approval has reportedly been criticized as the regulator gave the green light shortly after asking Bharat Biotech for more analysis..
India’s Health Minister said Tuesday that the Indian government has signed agreements to procure 11 million doses of Covishield at INR 200 ($ 2.74) per dose and 5.5 million doses of Covaxin at an average price of Rs 206 per injection, which is likely cheaper than they would be on the private market.
Several other candidates, including the second domestically developed vaccine Zydus Cadila, are undergoing clinical trials.
India currently has over 10.5 million cases of coronavirus, second only to the United States. More than 151,000 people have died from Covid-19 in India, according to Johns Hopkins University. But daily statistics show active infections are falling.
The largest country in South Asia is also the largest vaccine producer in the world and is said to produce about 60% of all vaccines sold worldwide..
As such, India’s production of COVID-19 vaccines is expected to play an important role in global immunization campaigns against the disease..
Bury of Eurasia Group said that despite the government’s optimism, two important risks could potentially slow the rollout of the vaccination campaign.
«First, vaccine production capacity will be limited even in the best scenarios.», – he said, adding that if local vaccine manufacturers cannot produce the 600 million doses needed to vaccinate the initial 300 million people, then «the immunization schedule in India and the export of vaccines to other countries could be significantly shifted».
The second risk is that India’s vaccination campaign will be heavily influenced by state governments, «whose capabilities and experiences vary greatly», believes Bury. «Effective coordination between central and state governments will be required, which was not (Prime Minister’s) strength Narendra Modi», – he explained.