India’s focus must be on vaccinating a large number every day and not record highs
A welcome spike: On India’s COVID-19 vaccination record
With vaccination being a safe and sure way to drastically cut the risk of hospitalisation due to severe COVID-19 disease and death, efforts should be to quickly and consistently vaccinate large numbers each day. For this, equitable and a regular supply of a large number of doses to all States is needed. One sure way to increase the number of daily doses is when the Government procures 100% of vaccines produced with no separate allocation to private hospitals. Precious time and doses were wasted between May and July 15 when private hospitals utilised only 7%-9% of vaccines produced against an allotment of 25%. The Government has belatedly revised the June 7 policy such that manufacturers will not set aside 25% of vaccines produced for private hospitals but instead supply as per demand and allot the remaining to the Government. If the rationale for allowing the manufacturers to sell vaccines to private hospitals at a higher price was to fund vaccine research, the small uptake by the private hospitals does not meet that objective. Hence, the Government should procure all the vaccines produced as this will help in better vaccine allotment to States, reduce vaccine inequity and increase uptake, and States can plan daily vaccination strategies in a more organised manner.
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