A beneficiary will get vaccinated by well being workers throughout a pan India Covid-19 vaccination drive at Aundh district hospital, on January 16, 2021 in Pune, India.
Pratham Gokhale | Hindustan Occasions | Getty Photos
India reported greater than 100,000 new Covid-19 circumstances over a 24-hour interval for the third time this week as South Asia’s most populous nation pushes forward with its vaccination marketing campaign.
There have been 126,789 new circumstances reported on Thursday, in line with authorities information. Over 80% of these circumstances had been from ten states together with the hard-hit western state of Maharashtra, residence to India’s monetary capital, Mumbai.
Because the begin of April, India has reported greater than 779,000 circumstances, with Maharashtra accounting for simply over half of them.
Native authorities in Maharashtra have stepped up restrictions, together with evening curfews the place solely important providers are allowed to stay open. Different states are additionally preemptively growing restrictions as worries mount over a possible scarcity in hospital beds and medical doctors.
India’s mass inoculation marketing campaign, which started in January, has accelerated in current weeks. Beginning in April, anybody over 45 is eligible for his or her photographs. Authorities information confirmed as of Thursday, greater than 90 million vaccine doses have been administered.
However, media stories this week mentioned that several states, including Maharashtra, have warned that they are running out of vaccine stock at a crucial juncture where cases are climbing rapidly.
In response, the Indian government accused some states, including Maharashtra, of diverting attention away from their failure to control the virus outbreak.
“Vaccine supplies are being monitored on a real-time basis, and State governments are being apprised regularly about it,” Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said in a statement Wednesday. “Allegations of vaccine shortage are utterly baseless.”
Proper distribution needed
India is manufacturing enough vaccines per month to inoculate people over the age of 45, according to Randeep Guleria, director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, and a member of the Indian government’s Covid-19 task force.
“These vaccines are being manufactured and there is enough stock on a monthly basis. It’s an issue that they have to be distributed regularly to all areas and as states start distributing, they have to make sure that there is equitable distribution depending upon the demand,” Guleria said Thursday on CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia.”
“In terms of actual numbers, if you do the (math), the shortage is not there, it’s the distribution that has to be done in a proper manner,” he said.
Guleria added the situation in Maharashtra as well as in some of other states is such that some areas have a high uptake of vaccines and in others, there is vaccine hesitancy and stock lying around.
Serum Institute’s ‘stressed’ production capacity
But the Serum Institute of India, which is manufacturing one of the country’s two approved vaccines — AstraZeneca’s shot, known locally as Covishield — has a different view of things.
Serum Institute boss Adar Poonawalla told Indian media that the company’s production capacity is “very stressed.” He said the vaccine manufacturer needs about $400 million to ramp up capacity by June.
He revealed to the Business Standard that AstraZeneca sent Serum Institute a legal notice for delays in supplying vaccines abroad. In February, Poonawalla said that his company had been directed to prioritize India’s vaccine needs and asked foreign governments to be patient.
Guleria said that other manufacturers who make vaccines are being tapped to chip in and help step up production. He added that India might soon approve a third vaccine — the Russian-made Sputnik V, which will be produced by pharmaceutical firm Dr Reddy’s Laboratories.