New Delhi – India launched a massive vaccination campaign this weekend, which is expected to use millions of its unique skills to make rapid progress in its efforts to save its population from Kovid-19 .
Hundreds of health care workers – already vaccinated across the country – are already present across the country, creating, distributing, registering, administering and monitoring the talents of millions of people in a nationwide effort to get their shots. Protecting the shots, India’s Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said.
A target of about 300,000 doses a day has been set in India and the availability of the vaccine will depend on how much the vaccine is available. The country aims to have 300 million of its 1.3 billion people vaccinated by August. While the weekend was still far from the pace needed to hit that target, about 191,000 people received shots on Saturday and 17,000 got them on Sunday when the campaign was closed in most states.
“This is a huge exercise,” said Mr. Vardhan, who has written a book about India’s efforts to eradicate polio. “India has tremendous experience handling these issues.”
Although some countries have struggled with the scale and complexity of a nationwide vaccine drive, India is confident that it can do better due to its experience of reducing its poor population and maintaining election infrastructure for one billion voters Can.
The first wave of vaccination will depend on India’s national cold-storage chain and network of immunization centers, which already vaccinate millions of children a year. The country’s voter database is being used to determine where citizens should be vaccinated and who should get vaccinated first.
India is the world’s largest producer of vaccines by volume, and its companies have already stocked over 50 million doses.
“We were accustomed to this sort of thing,” said Prabhat Saurabh, a New Delhi vaccination officer, who had been preparing for months for the launch. “It’s just the magnitude that has increased.”
India is one of the countries facing the epidemic. It has recorded more than 10 million cases, second only to the US, with more than 150,000 Indians killed by the virus.
Delhi’s nursing officer Dhawal Dwivedi was among the first to vaccinate on Saturday. He said he had to live with the fear of being infected for months and was relieved that the vaccines had arrived for the last time so he could concentrate on work.
“The vaccine will now let me work without any fear,” he said. “I am proud to be part of this campaign.”
Indians are more likely to rely on vaccines than people in other countries. In an October survey of 15 countries, Indians were most likely to say that they were ready to take the Kovid-19 vaccine once it became available. The Ipsos poll showed that 88% of Indians said they were ready compared to 65% of Americans and 85% of people in China.
There has been some debate about whether this is going to rollout too quickly. It has granted emergency use approval to two vaccines, one developed by AstraZeneca plc and a local front-runner developed by Oxford University and Bharat Biotech. Critics believe that the government has put pressure on regulators to put the Indian candidate too soon, potentially in danger.
A non-government health watchdog from the All India Drug Action Network said more data about the AstraZeneca vaccine needed to be shared and it came as a shock that the Bharat Biotech vaccine received emergency approval.
Mr. Vardhan said that he and other experts had all the information they needed to assure them of the vaccines.
“They are safe, and they are effective,” he said. “There is no need for any fear.”
New Delhi is exploiting people and facilities across the spectrum of federal, state and local governments, as in national elections. Police and military personnel are providing security for vaccination facilities and guarding vaccines. The Ministry of Sports is helping with crowd control and the Ministry of Animal Husbandry is sharing its cold-supply chain. In some parts of the capital, school students have been recruited to monitor people for 30 minutes, so that they can wait after receiving shots.
India has advanced its national immunization network, which already gives more than 100 million shots to infants each year.
It has monitored temperatures of more than 100,000 refrigerators and coolers in its vaccine-delivery supply chain. It has about 150,000 small coolers to keep each day’s worth of vaccines.
India created an app to handle each step of the vaccination campaign, monitoring each dose from the time it was administered. The app also lets people know when and where their turn is and generates vaccination certificates.
There were some initial problems with the application. Some vaccination sites had trouble accessing the list of people who were supposed to vaccinate them on Saturday. The government said it was fixing the mess.
share your thoughts
What will be some of the results of India’s mass vaccination campaign? Join the conversation below.
India’s infection rate has reached a fifth of what it was in September, but officials worry that without mass vaccination, the country may eventually face new and larger waves of infection in the US and Europe.
Densely populated Delhi had some of India’s worst outbreaks, with more than 8,500 new coronovirus cases seen a day just two months ago. The majority of the state was a control area, and it imposed fines for not wearing masks. Its daily infection rate has been reduced to over 500.
District Magistrate Vishwendra, in charge of a district in Delhi, said, “We had many nights to get sleepless nights.” “If we do not vaccinate and there is a new prevalence then we are only declaring progress.”
– Vibhuti Aggarwal contributed to this article.
Copyright © 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8