COVID-19: Why a domestic disaster for India could also turn into a global vaccine crisis | World news
Of all the developing countries, India should have been able to summon a defense against the second wave of COVID.
Overpopulation, poverty and uneven public health systems in a vast and disparate country were all factors in favor of the virus, but India is also home to the world’s largest vaccine manufacturing capacity.
The Serum Institute of India (SII) is at the center of plans for Covax – a global coronavirus vaccine-sharing project seen as key to ensuring billions of people beyond the economically secure West receive protection.
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SII is committed to providing more than a billion doses of AstraZeneca and Novavax vaccines, while three other vaccines, Johnson & Johnson, Covaxin from Bharat Biomedica and Russian Sputnik V, are all in production in India.
It had pledged to deliver 200 million doses through the Covax program by June – but that is now in serious question, with only 40% of the order schedule completed to date.
Despite its national capacity, less than 10% of the 1.4 billion people have been vaccinated, and questions are being asked as to why, for two doses administered by India in its country, one was exported to the ‘foreign.
Indian government figures show more than 145 million doses have been delivered in total, and if daily vaccination rates have increased to over 3.3 million doses – 10 times the UK average – it is not enough to answer the question.
Equally striking is the number of doses that were exported: a product of the country’s manufacturing might which is now cited as a national political failure as the the country is fighting a brutal second wave.
Over 66 million doses of the five vaccines have been sent to 93 different countries and United Nations agencies.
The largest recipient is Bangladesh, India’s neighbor, with 10.7 million doses, followed by Morocco with 7 million.
But it is striking that the UK is the third largest recipient, with five million doses of an initial order of 10 million doses of AstraZeneca having been delivered.
Britain is almost the only one among the developed countries to have bought vaccines from India. Canada is the only other G7 state to have done so, and the only other European recipient of exports is Albania.
Despite the domestic production capacity of the AstraZeneca vaccine, doses of IBS have become crucial for deployment here in March.
This fueled a push that set new daily records in the middle of the month, but when India banned the export of the other five million, the NHS was so concerned that it ordered the first doses for less than 50 years are suspended.
India has been under the same pressures as manufacturers around the world, with huge demand for raw ingredients, equipment and bottling affecting production.
The United States has offered to supply excess AstraZeneca doses and raw materials.
Distribution was also a challenge. India’s meager public health system is funded by just 1% of GDP – the NHS operates at around 8% – and although it has enormous immunization experience, it has been overwhelmed by the second wave.
The private health system, which most Indians depend on but cannot afford, is also overwhelmed and will need to be integrated into the vaccination effort if it is to meet its original target of 400 million most vulnerable Indians. .
A domestic catastrophe for India could also turn into a global vaccine crisis.
The majority of the 93 countries that have received vaccines from India are in Africa and Asia – many poorer and smaller states without production capacity of their own and populations in urgent need of protection.