India needs to strengthen Covid-19 vaccination

With Covid 19 cases surging across India, a massive crisis over Covid vaccine has emerged in the country. The Maharashtra government on Wednesday announced that it would soon run out of vaccines and sought urgent help from the centre. But on the other hand, the union government claimed that there is no shortage of vaccines. Several state governments have appealed to the centre to allow vaccination of the people of all age groups that are eligible.

This has also been rejected by the centre and only those above 45 are being vaccinated even as the number of Covid-19 cases is rising at an alarming rate. India, along with Brazil is fast emerging as the new hotspot of the Covid-19 virus.

What is shocking is that the government of India does not seem to have worked out any proper strategy on vaccination.

Right now only Covishield, developed by AstraZeneca, and Covaxin, developed by Bharat Biotech have been given permission for use in India. Strangely, the government of India is yet to give permission to other Covid-19 vaccine candidates like Pfizer-BionNTech and Moderna to start vaccination in India. This is shocking and should be immediately corrected.

The government of India should open the market of Covid-19 vaccine and let people have easy access to it. The control supply currently being employed is not helping the cause.

In another worrying news, NDTV reported on Wednesday that Adar Poonawalla’s Serum Institute of India (SII), the maker of coronavirus vaccine Covishield in India, has reportedly been served a legal notice by AstraZeneca over vaccine supply delays.

India has been delaying supply to concentrate on local demands. There is a need to rework the strategy and before it is too late the government of India should act. A successful vaccination programme is very important to stop the spread of Covid-19 in India and across the world.