India Achieves a Milestone in Covid-19 Vaccination
Monday, June 28, 2021, was a red-letter day in India’s heroic battle against the pandemic. India’s total administered jabs touched a peak of 323.64 million that was marginally higher than 323.32 million shots given in the U.S.
Suddenly, the air is thick with optimism. The buoyancy in inoculation has raised hopes that India may be able to tackle a possible third wave better than it handled the second wave.
India started inoculating its population on January 16, 2021, a month after the U.S started giving the jabs. It prioritized frontline healthcare workers in the first phase. Gradually, vaccination was opened to the general population in phases.
India relies on two vaccines presently- Covishield, licenced by AstraZeneca to Serum Institute of India. one of the world’s largest vaccine producers and Covaxin, India’s own vaccine that has been developed by Bharat Biotech.
The government proposes to inoculate the entire adult population of about 960 million by December end. The central government is supplying the vaccines free to the states. Vaccination is free in government vaccination centres. Those who can afford to pay can visit private hospitals and get the jabs for a fee.
Vaccine supply is a huge challenge for India, with an estimated population of about 1.38 billion. Therefore, the government has included a few more vaccines like the Russian Sputnik in the basket. The uninterrupted supply of sufficient doses of vaccine is the key to India’s battle against the virus.
The pandemic’s devastating second wave
The second wave has badly mauled India. Things were getting better as late as March 2021 when the virus chose to mutate and caught everybody by surprise. It spread fast among a population that thought the worst was behind it.
A hugely populated country like India is a soft target for a marauding virus. It’s easy to blame the government whenever things go wrong and to ignore steps it has taken to minimize deaths and loss of livelihoods. The tragedy is not only about the perceived failures and…