The latest evidence from countries that have achieved significant COVID-19 vaccination level shows they are effective in curbing disease spread and preventing serious cases.
With debilitating lockdowns no longer an option, India needs to more than double daily vaccinations to curb the second wave and get the country moving again.
This is how India can target 5 million vaccinations a day as it moves to the next phase – anyone over 45 now is eligible for the jab.
- high vaccination numbers but not enough:
India is currently averaging 2m doses a day down from recent peak of 2.3 m doses a day.
At this rate, it would take roughly two years to fully vaccinate about 60% of India’s adult population.
2. Target should be raised to 5 million vaccinations a day:
At 5 million a day, or 150 million a month, by the end of the year, more than half the adult population would be fully vaccinated.
3. What can be done to achieve 5 million/day Target?
i) Supply Side: Lift vaccine and vaccination capacity
Help Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech ramp up capacity
Current Capacity (approximate)
Covishield: 60 million/month
Covaxin: 5 million/month
Serum Institute says it will provide 100 million doses from may.
Give emergency approval for vaccines that are already in use elsewhere.
Push Sputnik, which can be a game changer
100-125 million doses a month can come immediately from Dr. Reddy’s, sources say
This can meet immediate expansion needs
Sputnik supply will rise when contract manufacturers- Gland, Virchow, Strides and Hetero start supply.
Increase inoculation centres to boost daily vaccination capacity.
ii) Demand Side: Get more people to take vaccines
Campaign against vaccine hesitancy
Open vaccination to more people so that high numbers can be achieved, despite hesitance
Start camps to achieve higher numbers
Greater effort in Pandemic areas where acceptance will be higher.
Allow companies to organize vaccinations for workers for faster return to work
High caseload states need to do better, follow Kerala’s example