Is India going slow on vaccination?


Most problems have clear solutions. But, some problems don’t…for instance, the crisis of corona. For a complete year we were incredibly helpless against it. Enter 2021…as we celebrate the first anniversary of lockdown, we may think the pandemic is dead but there’s a twist.

Can corona return to India in a second wave?

Kerala, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh have been the worst hit as per the latest news. Lockdown in Amravati, restrictions in Nagpur as well as at the same time the virus is mutating. On one hand, we are transporting vaccines to 25 countries…but, here in India, the situation may worsen if we don’t take immediate action.

The problem: Corona has not gone anywhere and people are already behaving like it has. In Maharashtra, especially, the trend is worrying. Towards the end of 2020 the case load in Maharashtra had started declining. However, the graph is now reversing. Maharashtra has become the biggest contributor to India’s cases.

We were confident that we would reach herd immunity by now but it has not been the case. There is a chance that a second wave may hit many Indian states. It is estimated that 86% new covid cases are from 5 states: Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Punjab.

But there is no political reason for this failure. The names of these five states can change any time. For example, in Madhya Pradesh, after a fabulous start to February, now the cases are increasing again.

Solution: Israel has vaccinated 85% of its population thanks to Pfizer at a record speed. For that reason alone, there are hardly any new cases in Israel now. Meanwhile here in India we started out very rapidly but lost the rhythm along the way. 1 crore Indians have been vaccinated which is only about 0.8%.

Hence, Adar Poonawalla has recently tweeted: ‘Please be patient. Serum Institute has been directed to prioritise the huge needs of India.’

It surprised everybody that amid a threat of second wave, the health minister was backing coronil. Even the Indian Medical Association has slammed health minister for attending the coronil event. The priority must be fast vaccination instead which can be achieved, if Azim Premji is to be believed, in 60-70 days if private players are allowed to participate.

While the graph is still low at this moment, it would be better to speed up India’s vaccination drive so that we can avoid the second wave. More delay will lead to indifference and carelessness in the common people on the street. Experts have warned against non-adherence to safety norms. Let’s wait to see if the govt listens to Premji’s solution.

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