India is the home of the world’s biggest producer of Covid vaccines. But it’s facing a m …

Sumary of India is the home of the world’s biggest producer of Covid vaccines. But it’s facing a major internal shortage:

  • People aged 18 and over waiting to be inoculated against Covid-19 at a vaccination centre at Radha Soami Satsang grounds being run by BLK-Max hospital on May 4, 2021 in New Delhi, India..
  • With India experiencing a devastating second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, questions are being asked about how the country — which is home to the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer — got to this tragic point..
  • On Tuesday, it passed the grim milestone of having reported over 20 million Covid cases and at least 226,188 people have died from the virus, although the reported death toll is believed to be lower than the actual death toll..
  • In the meantime, India’s vaccination program is struggling to make an impact and supplies are problematic, despite the country having halted vaccine exports in March in order to focus on domestic inoculations..
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his governing Bharatiya Janata Party have been criticized for a lack of caution and preparedness, and accused of putting politics and campaigning above public safety..
  • To date, India has administered around 160 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine (the predominant shots being used are the AstraZeneca shot, produced locally as Covishield, as well as an indigenous vaccine called Covaxin developed by Bharat Biotech)..
  • In April it approved Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine for use and the first batch of doses arrived at the start of May, although it has not yet been deployed..
  • Only 30 million people have had the complete two doses of a Covid vaccine in India so far, government data shows..
  • That’s a small number (just over 2%%) of India’s total population of 1.3 billion people — although around a quarter of that total are under 15 years old and, as such, are not eligible for a vaccine yet..
  • Since May 1, anyone aged 18 or over is eligible for a Covid vaccine although this expansion of the vaccination program has been hampered given the shortages of doses that have been reported throughout the country by national media..
  • People receive their Covid-19 vaccines from medical workers at a vaccination centre set up in the classroom of a government school on May 04, 2021 in New Delhi, India..
  • Dr. Chandrakant Lahariya, a doctor based in New Delhi who is also a vaccines, public policy and health systems expert, told CNBC Wednesday that India’s large adult population makes the immunization effort difficult..
  • “Even if the projected supply was available, India has opened the vaccination to a far bigger population than probably any setting can expect the vaccines (to cover)..
  • No amount of advanced planning could have assured that sort of supply, which is needed now with the opening of vaccination for 940 million people in India,”.
  • Vaccine wars The shortcomings in vaccine supplies has inevitably led to a deflection of blame with vaccine manufacturers in the firing line..
  • Questions over vaccine prices, manufacturing capacity and the destination of supplies have beset the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, the Serum Institute of India, and Bharat Biotech, the Hyderabad-based pharmaceutical company that manufactures Covaxin..
  • Both have had their vaccine price structures (that is, different prices for doses destined for central government, state governments and private hospitals) criticized, which led the SII’s CEO to later reduce prices amid a public backlash..
  • Adar Poonawalla, CEO of the SII which produces the Covid vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, said Sunday that the institute had been blamed for a vaccine shortage and scapegoated by politicians, but said it had not boosted capacity earlier because of an initial lack of orders..
  • People wearing protective face masks wait to receive a dose of Covishield, a coronavirus vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute of India, at a vaccination center in New Delhi, India on May 04, 2021..
  • He said that the country’s shortage of vaccine doses would continue through July, when production is expected to increase from about 60 to 70 million doses a month, to 100 million..
  • On Monday, the government issued a statement in which it refuted media reports alleging that it had not placed any fresh orders for Covid vaccines since March, stating that “these media reports are completely incorrect, and are not based on facts.”.
  • It said it had advanced money to both the SII and Bharat Biotech for vaccines to be delivered in May, June and July..
  • India’s Covid crisis On Tuesday, Poonawalla issued a statement in which he sought to calm tensions between the government and SII, noting that “vaccine manufacturing is a specialized process, it is therefore not possible to ramp up production overnight.”…

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