India’s hopes of battling the second wave of the Corona pandemic are now set on vaccination. The central government has allowed vaccination for all people above the age of 18 years, but in the current situation, it is becoming difficult for many people to get vaccinated.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on April 20 that from May 1, people over 18 years of age will start getting vaccinated. The announcement was a relief for the people of India struggling with the second major wave of the Corona pandemic.
But even before May 1, it was clearly visible that the complete preparations for this vaccination campaign had not been completed. On 30 April, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal appealed to the public that they should not queue outside the hospitals from May 1 as the supply of vaccines has not been available.
Surprisingly, while the Delhi government could not buy the vaccine on one side, on the evening of 30 April, some major private hospitals in Delhi announced that they had got the vaccine stock and they are starting vaccinations for people over 18 years of age from May 1.
As soon as the morning of May 1, there were long queues of vaccines outside major private hospitals in Delhi, but by the end of the day, only 84,599 people from 18 to 44 years in the whole country got the first dose.
Many state governments, including the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled governments, have already said that they do not have enough vaccines to cover people above 18 years of age.
Even after registering for the vaccine on the Cowin platform, people in the age group of 18 to 44 years are not able to get an appointment to get the vaccine.
On the other hand, private hospitals are charging people from 900 to 1250 rupees for applying vaccines, but due to lack of vaccines, these private hospitals are also able to get a small number of vaccinations.
Dr. Naresh Trehan, a renowned cardiologist and chairman of Medanta Hospital, believes that it is not right to adopt an open market policy in terms of vaccination.
Dr. Trehan says, “By setting the price, the government would buy the vaccine and private hospitals would buy it from the government. People bought the vaccine due to free-market, either by their own acquaintance or by giving money or through someone, it is wrong.
Dr. Trehan says that he is in favor of allowing the private sector, but the price fixed for the private sector should be bought by the central government and given to the private sector at that price. They say, “It will be fair and everyone will get the vaccine at the same price.
How much vaccine is needed?
In India, people above the age of 45 years have taken around 16 crore doses so far, but for these 44 crore people who fall in this category, 72 crore vaccines are still needed because 88 crore doses for 44 crore people Will be needed.
The number of people between 18 and 44 years is close to 62 crores, for which 124 crore doses will be required.
There are a total of 106 crore people, who have to be vaccinated, excluding the population below the age of 18 years. Even if the target of vaccination is to be given to these 106 crore people in the next year, even then India will have to apply about 54 lakh vaccines every day.
The current situation is that on average 20 to 25 lakh vaccines are being installed in India every day, this number comes down even more on Saturday-Sunday. For example, on May 2, it was Sunday and on that day only 12.10 lakh doses were used in the whole country. On weekends, a huge decline in the number of vaccinations has been seen for several weeks.
Even if we assume that 70 percent of the population will get herd immunity due to vaccination, even then, out of these 106 crore people, at least 74 crore people have to ensure vaccination of at least 40 lakh people every day to apply both doses of vaccine in a year. According to this, 12 crore vaccines will have to be applied every month.
How has the vaccine rollout been?
In India, a total of 15.89 crore doses of vaccine have been applied till the morning of May 4, after vaccination started in January.
Of these, 12.92 crores were the first dose and 2.97 crores were the second dose. In many states, people who have got the first dose are waiting for the second dose but due to lack of vaccine, the second dose is delayed.
Dr. Naresh Trehan believes that the system of vaccine delivery that was running earlier did not need to be disturbed. He says, If private companies have to pay more and the government’s burden has to be reduced, then it should be. But the chaos that has taken place in the market, those who bought the vaccine from the backdoor are very happy and those who had taken a dose are stuck in the middle. A solution to this problem is very important.
Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan has been saying on many occasions that there is no shortage of vaccines in the country. The central government also continues to issue bulletins every day, telling how many free vaccines it has provided to the states so far and how many doses are left with the states.
The Central Government says that out of the order of 10 crore doses given to the Serum Institute of India, 8.74 crore covishield vaccines had been delivered by May 3. Similarly, out of the orders of two crores, covaxin vaccines given to Bharat Biotech, 88.13 lakh doses had come till May 3.
The central government also says that for the months of May, June, and July, it has ordered the purchase of 11 crore covishield and five crore covaxin vaccines.
Even if it is assumed that in the months of May, June, and July, the Center will provide 16 crore vaccines free of cost to the states, even then the state governments and private hospitals will have to jointly manage 200 million vaccines for these three months.
If the target is to apply 40 lakh vaccines every day, 12 crore vaccines every month, or 36 crore vaccines in the next three months, because without this, the work of vaccination will not be completed in a year.
Need to rethink strategy?
According to estimates, Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech will be able to make a total of nine crore vaccine doses in May, 50 percent of which will be given to the central government, and the remaining state governments and private hospitals will have to buy at a higher price.
While the Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech are providing a dose of vaccine to the central government at a cost of Rs 150, on the other hand, both have announced the sale of the vaccine at an expensive price to state governments and private hospitals.
The Serum Institute is selling the vaccine at a cost of Rs 300 to state governments and Rs 600 per dose to private hospitals.
At the same time, Bharat Biotech has decided to sell the vaccine to the state governments at a cost of 400 rupees and private hospitals at the rate of 1200 rupees per dose.
The MYHEALTHONLY wanted to know from the Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech that so far they have made vaccines available to the central and state governments and how many vaccines to private hospitals. They were also asked how many vaccines they are producing daily or every week or every month. This question was also asked about which state government and which private hospitals have given orders to buy vaccines.
There were no answers to these questions from Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech.
Dr. Trehan believes that it is still not late. He says, I request my government to give it a break. The campaign can be resumed in a week by reconsidering the matter. The disappointment that people are feeling that they will get the vaccine and not When we get it, this disappointment should not come in people during such transition.
For the last few days, the statistics of new cases of covid in India are continuously touching three and a half lakhs, and every day more than 3,000 lives are being lost.
The vaccine is now the biggest hope of the country, which suffers from a lack of beds and oxygen in the hospital. But the way India’s vaccination program is going on, there is no way left for the common people to wait.