Home / Business / Why are India’s Covid Vaccine Producers suffering from a massive shortage?

Why are India’s Covid Vaccine Producers suffering from a massive shortage?



People aged 18 and over await being vaccinated against COVID-19 at the Radha Soami Satsang Vaccination Center operated by BLK-Max Hospital on May 4, 2021 in New Delhi, India.

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As India suffered a severe second wave of coronavirus outbreak, questions were asked about how the country, home to the world̵

7;s largest vaccine maker, got to this tragic point.

India continues to report large numbers of new infections. On Tuesday, the horrific incident reported more than 20 million people with COVID and at least 226,188 deaths from the virus, although the number of reported deaths is believed to be lower than the number of deaths that have been reported. real

Meanwhile, India’s vaccination program is struggling to make an impact and supplies a problem, although the country stopped exporting vaccines in March to focus on domestic vaccinations.

The sharp increase in infections in India since February have been attributed to large religious festivals and electoral rallies, as well as the increasingly widespread spread of the virus, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and His ruling Bharatiya Janata party has been criticized for being careless and prepared and accused of putting politics and campaigning above the safety of the people.

A speech war over the government’s vaccination strategy is also emerging. Lawmakers have been criticized for allowing millions of volumes of exports earlier this year.

Until now, India has an administrative About 160 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine (the predominant shot used is AstraZeneca shot, locally produced as Covishield, as well as a native vaccine called Covaxin developed by Bharat Biotech). It is in use and the first combination of drugs arrived in early May, although it has not yet been implemented.

Government data shows that only 30 million people have completed two doses of the COVID vaccine in India. That’s a small amount (more than 2 %%) of India’s total population of 1.3 billion, although about a quarter of them are under 15 and therefore are not eligible for the vaccine.

As of May 1, anyone aged 18 and over is eligible for the Covid Vaccine, although the extension of the vaccination program has been hampered by a shortage of volumes reported by national media across the country.

People received the COVID-19 vaccine from medical staff at a vaccination center set up in a public school classroom on May 4, 2021 in New Delhi, India.

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New Delhi-based doctor Chantarakan Lahariya, who specializes in vaccines, public policy and health systems, told CNBC on Wednesday that India’s large adult population makes vaccination difficult.

“Even with the expected supply. But India has vaccinated more people than all situations could expect. (To cover) basically this is the result of a limited supply and vaccination policy which does not take consumables into account. No high-level planning can guarantee what kind of supply will be available, which is now necessary with vaccination open to 940 million people in India, ”he said.

Vaccine device “It shouldn’t be drastically changing,” said Lahariya. “India needs anywhere between 200 and 250 million doses per month to be able to fully drive Covid-19 vaccination with 70-80 million doses per month. Clearly there’s a long way to go. To get (to) that type of supply He noted.

Vaccine wars

Defects in vaccine devices inevitably distract vaccine manufacturers. Questions about vaccine prices, capacity and the destination of supplies have beset the world’s largest vaccine manufacturers, including the Serum Institute of India and Hyderabad-based pharmaceutical company Bharat Biotech that makes Covaxin.

Both have their vaccine pricing structures. (That is, different prices for quantities set for federal, state governments and private hospitals) criticized, which later forced the SII’s CEO to cut prices amid a public backlash.

Adar Poonawalla, CEO of SII, which produces the Covid Vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, said on Sunday the institution was accused of lacking the vaccine and was scapegoated by politicians. But said it had not been empowered before since it was the first time. Lack of order

“I was an unfair and wrong victim,” he told the Financial Times on Monday, adding that he had previously not empowered because. “Without any orders, we don’t think we have to do more than 1 billion times a year.”

Poonawalla noted that the Indian government had ordered 21 million doses of Covishield from the Serum Institute at the end of February. But it did not specify when to buy more or to order an additional 110 million doses in March, when the infection began to rise.

People wearing face masks wait for Covishield, a coronavirus vaccine produced by Serum Institute of India, at the Vaccination Center in New Delhi, India, on May 4, 2021.

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Poonawalla said Indian authorities did not expect to face a second wave of cases and was therefore not prepared for the attack by new infected people in late winter.

He said the country’s vaccine shortage will continue through July, with production expected to rise from 60 to 70 million doses per month to 100 million doses.

The Indian government insisted that additional vaccines were available and ordered to meet the needs. On Monday, the government released a statement refuting media reports claiming it had not ordered the new COVID vaccine since March, saying: “These media reports are entirely inaccurate and not based on facts,” said advanced funds for both SII and Bharat Biotech for vaccines to be delivered in May, June and July.

On Tuesday, Poonawalla released a statement in which he sought to calm tensions between the government and the SII, noting that “vaccine production was a special process, so it would be impossible to increase production overnight.”

“We have to understand that India’s population is huge and it is not easy to produce sufficient quantities for all adults… We have been working with the Indian government since April last year. model “It’s scientific, regulatory and financial,” he said. Poonawalla said SII received a total order of 260 million doses without specifying a buyer.

Asked if the government had the wrong approach to acquiring and producing vaccines, Lahariya noted that the government was reluctant, although the trajectory of the epidemic was difficult to predict.

“To be fair, I believe there are two surprises, unlike last year when the Covid-19 vaccine availability was predicted in mid 2021. The vaccine was available a little earlier. Two lulls among Covid-19 patients in India provide satisfaction at all levels, ”he said, Lahariya said, adding that while it took several months to prioritize the target population for the vaccination program, he said. Open to all adults “too fast”

“It is a very hasty and politically influenced issue of planning, while this should primarily be a public health decision. Supply forecasts could make a difference “

Modi’s future

How will the vaccination strategy affect Modi’s rating over the long term? But there is already evidence that Modi’s BJP trial is being paid for in the survey of the coronavirus crisis.

Modi’s party failed to win West Bengal’s key state in the regional elections last weekend and failed to win three other elections in April, although it still holds power in Assam.

Dr. Manali Kumar from the Institute of Political Science at St. Gallen University in Switzerland noted: “The second wave was a catastrophic displacement of the Indian government, which is now busy controlling storytelling instead of dealing with problems.”

“Perhaps the worst disasters that are taking place in India right now could have been avoided if restrictions remained on public and private gatherings,” she noted, adding that. “Decades of neglect of investments in healthcare infrastructure and no constituencies have been the least. Prioritized public service is also to blame. “

Prime Minister Modi defended the government’s vaccination strategy, telling ministers in April that “People who have the habit of doing (playing) politics, letting them do that … I have faced a lot of accusations. I’m committed to politics But we are committed to serving humanity, which we will continue to do, ‘he said, The Times of India reported.

He also noted that the peak of previous infections last September was moderated at a time when the vaccine was unavailable and a number of cases and tests could be monitored and tracked. Get dependency


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