Address vaccine shortage

With just a day left before vaccination opens to all above 18 years, uncertainty over the availability of Covid-19 vaccines has hit the whole country. Several states, including Arunachal, are facing shortage of vaccines and are in no position to start the vaccines for the people above 18 years. States like Maharashtra and Delhi say they do not have enough doses. Rajasthan has run out of vaccines too. The health minister of Arunachal, Alo Libang, on Thursday made it clear that the state will not roll out vaccination for 18- to 44-year-olds on 1 May as Arunachal does not have vaccines in stock.

The state is also running short of Remdisivir, an antiviral drug which is used to treat serious Covid-19 patients. The government of India has made a mockery of the entire vaccination programme. It is clear that there are not enough vaccines available in the country. Knowing the situation, why did the central government announce to vaccinate all above 18 years of age? This is a major blunder by the Narendra Modi-led BJP government. The government seems more interested in managing headlines than doing actual work. First of all, they should have ensured availability of vaccines and then announced to start vaccination for all above 18 years. Now that the vaccine shortage has been exposed, it is time the government of India swung into action and took some measures to address this issue at the earliest. More vaccine candidates should be explored to address the shortage.