COVID-19: Can India vaccinate all adults in 4 months?

Published: Wednesday 19 May 2021

Can India vaccinate its entire adult population against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the next four months? To do this the country will need to vaccinate nearly one billion people over the age of 18, which means two billion doses.

Under the current supply scenario, India can only produce about 132 million doses by the end of July, these include 65 million doses from Serum Institute of India, 55 million from Bharat Biotech International Ltd and 12 million doses of Sputnik V. The need, however, is for 600 million doses a month to vaccinate all above 18.

Only 38.6 million people were fully vaccinated through May 12 — less than 4 per cent of India’s adult population.

The Union health ministry announced that Bharat Biotech would increase the production of Covaxin to 78.2 million in August while Serum Institute would produce up to 100 million doses. Haffkine Biopharmaceutical Corp Ltd, Indian Immunologicals Ltd and Bharat Immunologicals and Biologicals Ltd will also produce Covaxin.

All that taken into account, India’s vaccine production will still be around 216 million per month by August. Imports may reduce the deficit but can it make up for it completely?

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