India to Miss the July COVID-19 Vaccination Deadline


In a circumstance where the third wave might arrive at any time, it could jeopardize citizens’ health if vaccines are not administered well. 

According to an examination of government statistics released on Monday, India will miss a deadline to give over a half-billion COVID-19 vaccine doses by the end of July as Bharat Biotech, the country’s sole licensed domestic shot battles to expand production.

In May, the government said that 516 million vaccines would be accessible by the end of this month.

To reach the July deadline, officials will need to increase average daily immunizations to 14 million doses. According to the most recent supply forecasts for Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin vaccine, this will not be achievable.

The government expected to get 60 million to 70 million Covaxin dosages every month from July or August.

However, because a new manufacturing plant in the southern city of Bengaluru requires time to become operational, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya informed parliament last week that Bharat Biotech will only deliver 25 million dosages this month and 35 million in August.

In early January, India’s drug authority cleared Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin for emergency usage despite the lack of compelling data. However, it has failed to meet virtually all of its government supply agreements.

The slow distribution of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine has also hampered vaccination efforts. In addition, India has been unable to receive donations of Moderna or Pfizer vaccines from the United States due to legal issues.

Covishield at Rescue Point

SII has virtually increased output in the last three months after suspending exports in mid-April to fulfil domestic production.

SII’s Covishield injection, a variant of the AstraZeneca vaccine, has been used in about 88 per cent of all vaccination doses delivered in India.

According to the ministry, the firm expects to increase its supply of the Covishield vaccine to 120 million doses in August, up from 100 million doses in June.

Between August and December, the government depends on 500 million vaccine doses from the Serum Institute of India (SII) and 400 million doses from Bharat Biotech for its immunization programme.

In one of the world’s most extensive immunization campaigns, India has distributed 430 million shots so far, more than any other country except China, but much less than most others in terms of population.

In a circumstance where the third wave might arrive at any time, it could jeopardize citizens’ health if vaccines are not administered well. 

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