Why Covid Vaccine Producers India Faces Significant Dose Shortage

People over the age of 18 waiting to be vaccinated against Covid-19 at the Radha Soami Satsang Ground Vaccination Center operated by BLK-Max Hospital on May 4, 2021 in New Delhi, India.

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India is undergoing a catastrophic second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, and questions have been asked about how India, home to the world’s largest vaccine maker, has reached this tragic point.

India continues to report a huge number of new infections. on Tuesday, It has passed a tough milestone of reporting over 20 million Covid cases The reported death toll is believed to be lower than the actual death toll, but at least 226,188 people have died from the virus.

India’s vaccination program, on the other hand, has struggled to impact and has supply problems, despite suspending vaccine exports in March to focus on domestic vaccination.

The outbreak of infectious diseases seen in India since February is due to the permission of large religious festivals and election rallies, and the spread of more infectious variants of the virus. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his governing Bharatiya Janata Party have been criticized for lack of vigilance and preparedness and accused of prioritizing politics and campaigns over public security.

The verbal war over the government’s vaccination strategy continued. Ruling party lawmakers have been criticized for allowing millions of doses to be exported earlier this year.

to date, India managed Approximately 160 million doses of coronavirus vaccine (main injections used AstraZeneca Shot, locally produced as Covishield, and a unique vaccine called Covaxin developed by Bharat Biotech). In April, the use of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine was approved and not yet deployed, but the first dose arrived in early May.

So far, only 30 million people in India have been vaccinated twice completely with the Covid vaccine. Government data.. This is a minority (a little over 2%%) of India’s 1.3 billion population, but about a quarter of that population is under the age of 15 and is not yet vaccinated.

Since May 1, anyone over the age of 18 will be eligible for the Covid vaccine, but the lack of doses reported nationally by the national media has prevented the expansion of this vaccination program. I will.

People will receive the Covid-19 vaccine from health care workers at a vaccination center set up in a public school classroom in New Delhi, India, on May 4, 2021.

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Dr. Chandra Kantora Hariya, a New Delhi-based expert in vaccines, public policy and medical systems, told CNBC that vaccination efforts are difficult due to India’s large adult population.

“Even if the predicted supply is available, India has probably begun (covering) a much larger population than expected to be vaccinated in any setting. This is inherently limited. It is the result of a vaccination policy that does not care about supply and supply .. With the start of vaccination of 940 million people in India, there can be advanced plans to guarantee this kind of supply that is currently needed. I didn’t. “

Vaccine supply “is unlikely to change significantly,” Lahariya said. “India needs 200 to 250 million doses a month and about 70 to 80 million doses a month to get the Covid-19 vaccination drive up and running, apparently. There is a long way to go to get that kind of supply, “he said.

Vaccine war

People wearing protective face masks will be given Covishield, a coronavirus vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, at the Vaccination Center in New Delhi, India, on May 4, 2021. wait.

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Mr Punawara said Indian authorities were not expecting to face a second wave of incidents and were not ready for a new infectious disease to rampage at the end of winter.

He said the country’s shortage of vaccine doses will continue until July, when production is expected to increase from about 60 million to 70 million and 100 million times a month.

As part of that, the Government of India claims that it has ordered more vaccines to meet demand and is still ordering them.On monday, the government Make a statement “These media reports are completely inaccurate and not factual,” he said in response to media reports claiming that he had not placed new orders for the Covid vaccine since March. .. It has funded both SII and Bharat Biotech to provide vaccines in May, June and July.

On Tuesday, Punawara issued a statement in an attempt to ease tensions between the government and the SII, stating that “vaccine production is a special process and it is impossible to increase production overnight.”

“We also need to understand that India’s population is huge and producing enough for all adults is not an easy task … we have been working with the Government of India since April last year. We have all sorts of support, whether scientific, regulatory or financial. ” Poonawalla said SII received a total of more than 260 million orders without identifying the purchaser.

Asked if the government had the wrong approach to vaccine procurement and production, Lahariya said it was difficult to predict the trajectory of the pandemic, but the government was self-satisfied.

“I think there were two surprises to be fair. Unlike a year ago, when the availability of the Covid-19 vaccine was predicted around mid-2021, the vaccine would be available a little earlier. India has set self-satisfaction at all levels. ” Lahariya added that months were spent prioritizing people to be vaccinated, after which the program was open to all “too early” adults.

“This was a matter of hurry and arguably a politically influenced plan, but it should be a public health decision in nature, so it details various aspects such as supply forecasts. The plan you made can make a difference. “

Modi’s future

It is not yet known how vaccination strategies will affect Modi’s assessment in the long run. However, there is already evidence that Modi’s ruling BJP has been paid for the Covid crisis in polls.

The Modi party failed to win in the major West Bengal states last weekend and remained in power in Assam, but failed in the other three state elections in April.

“This second wave is a disaster caused by the self-satisfaction of the Indian government, which is busy controlling the story rather than tackling the problem,” said Dr. Manari Kumar of the Institute of Political Science at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. . “”

“If public and private rally restrictions remained, we could have avoided the worst disasters currently occurring in India,” she said. “Number of neglected investments in healthcare infrastructure.” Public services that prioritize voters for decades and not are also responsible. “

Prime Minister Modi defended the government’s vaccination strategy and told the minister in April, “If you have a habit of doing (playing) politics, let me do that … I am facing various claims. He cannot be stopped. He is hellish in doing politics, but we are committed to serving humanity and will continue to do so. “

He also said that the previous peak of infection in September last year was suppressed during the time when vaccines were not available and case follow-up and follow-up, and mass testing were trusted.

Why Covid Vaccine Producers India Faces Significant Dose Shortage

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