India is currently dealing with a devastating second Covid-19 wave that has swept through the nation, crushing the country's health infrastructure and overburdening frontline medical workers. The number of coronavirus cases in the country is increasing day by day. India registered a slight dip in COVID-19 cases as it registered 3,68,147 new coronavirus infections and 3,417 related deaths in the last 24 hours, informed the union health ministry on Monday morning. With this, the cumulative count of the cases has gone up to 1,99,25,604.
In order to stop the spread, vaccination is said to be the only alternative. Currently, the third phase of vaccination has started in the country. On May 1, everyone above 18 years of age became eligible to get themselves vaccinated against novel coronavirus.
Earlier, a vaccination campaign was launched for senior citizens and then for citizens above 45 years of age. Since then, all citizens above 18 years of age are being vaccinated.
However, there may be a shortage of vaccines in the next few months, said Adar Poonawala, chief executive officer of the Serum Institute of India. "The capacity to produce 100 million vaccines will not increase before July," he said. At present, the country is producing 6 to 7 crore vaccines per month.
Adar Poonawala said that the capacity has not been expanded as we did not have that much demand earlier. He commented on this in an interview with the Financial Times. As a result, it is said that the shortage of vaccines will continue till July. "We had no orders. We never thought we would need to produce more than 100 million doses a year. Authorities also predicted a second wave of corona in January. Everyone felt that this pandemic was over, "said Poonawala.
The vaccination drive was launched in the country on January 16. The central government had initially ordered 2.1 crore doses of Serum. As the number of patients began to rise in March, the government ordered 11 crore doses. Currently, the third phase of vaccination has started in the country. The inoculation drive for those between 18 and 45 years of age started in many parts of the country on May 1.
Meanwhile, the government has allowed companies to sell 50 per cent of their products in the open market.