Deepak Talwar Sheds Light on How India Successfully Administered 100 Crore doses of COVID-19 Vaccine

 Deepak Talwar Sheds Light on How India Successfully Administered 100 Crore doses of COVID-19 Vaccine

India’s milestone of 100 crore COVID-19 vaccines is remarkable, especially because it was achieved in nine months since commencement of the drive. Deepak Talwar, a seasoned market analyst, sheds light on how India achieved the feat.

He says, “The landmark is a testament to the state capacity of India. For the world, it proves how efficient the nation can be when it sets its eyes on executing a particular project. The credit duly goes to Narendra Modi-led government, who relentless worked and focused on the execution. Also, the apparent use of technology paved way for the nation to develop state-of-the-art application called CoWin, which was used for vaccine registration.”

However, not only the government, the overwhelming credit for the landmark also goes to Adar Poonawalla, whose Serum Institute of India (SII) is responsible for around 88 per cent of total doses administered in India so far. Had the institute not over delivered, India’s vaccination numbers wouldn’t look as impressive as they are today.

In May 2021, the government was expecting procurement of 216 crore doses between August and December — 75 crore Covishield doses, 55 crore doses of Covaxin and 15.6 crore Sputnik V doses. However, these numbers were scaled down in June when the government expectation ,as per its affidavit in the Supreme Court, was that only 50 crore doses of Covishield, 40 crore doses of Covaxin and 10 crore doses of Sputnik V will be delivered. In addition, the authorities were expecting 30 crore doses of Corbevax from Hyderabad-based Biological E and 5 crore doses from Zydus Cadila.

“One must remember that Serum Institute is also producing Novavax’s Covavax for the last few months so it can start supplying it as soon as the approval comes, informs Talwar. He adds, “Bharat Biotech’s monthly production has increased to 5 crore only this month while it was 3.5 crore for September. This implies that the company would be able to deliver only 50-60 percent of its intended target of 40 crore doses.”

Therefore, Serum Institute has not only delivered on what the government was expecting, but also compensated for the failures of every other vaccine manufacturer ranging from Bharat Biotech, Zydus Cadila, Sputnik V suppliers and Biological E.

Currently, India has administered 75 percent of the adult population with at least one dose, while the numbers in the US stand at 79 per cent. Assuming that 60 crore Indians will be fully vaccinated by 1 January 2022, the figures would still translate to about 70 percent coverage, which will be same as the US.

“So, even if critics like it or not, India would potentially kick start 2022 with a hugely successful Covid-19 vaccination programme,” says Talwar. He adds, “With monthly capacity already at 25 crore and around 11 crore doses still in stock with the states, it gives India enough space to indulge in smart vaccine diplomacy and also allows Serum to meet its prior international commitments.”

As the trend suggests, India can export 20-25 crore doses by year end. With a total export of 30 crore doses, including 6.5 crore doses supplied earlier, India’s image as the biggest force for good during the Covid-19 pandemic would be highlighted at the global stage. Vaccination drive against infectious agent has not only saved lives, but also given hope for a better tomorrow. And as India celebrates the feat, it must keep up the pace to ensure smooth victory over the invisible enemy.

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