09th Jun 2021
VF Blog: India’s Worst Nightmare: The Failure of COVID-19 Vaccination in India
India is battling the worst wave of COVID-19. Here is a brief on the status of COVID vaccines in India.
Vaccines in India: Efficacy, Failure, and Importance of Getting Vaccinated
While the Indian national healthcare system suffers the worst breakdown in its history, its vaccination drives also remain the biggest in the world. So far, India has administered more than 125 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines despite the dramatic decline of vaccinations currently.
Today, we’ll be assessing the ongoing situation and how the pandemic is evolving in the country.
The Trend of Vaccination in India
COVID-19 vaccination in India showed a promising start back in January. It started as a limited drive for healthcare workers and eventually expanded to other age groups. At the moment, it has been lagging as several states struggle with a shortage of vaccines despite an well executed vaccine delivery system.
As of now, more than 17 million people have received both doses, while more than 100 million have received only the first one.
It is not likely for India to reach its goal of vaccinating 250 million people by July, given the current surge in cases. Moreover, pregnant women and children are still not a part of these drives.
India has three major vaccines being administered right now:
Covishield – Developed by AstraZeneca
Covaxin - Developed by Bharat Biotech
Sputnik V - Made in Russia
The Failure to Produce Vaccines
To meet country-wide demand for vaccines, India temporarily halted AstraZeneca exports. According to the Serum Institute of India (SII), the production capacity was stressed to the extent that it was impossible to meet the demand.
Even though the federal government has made advance payments to facilitate mass production, several obstacles continue to hamper vaccination in India.
Reasons Behind Failure:
India has a huge population- with an even bigger number of skeptics who continue to resist vaccination due to a lack of awareness. The question, “are vaccines safe?” has lingered in their minds for a longer time than anticipated. Rural residents are sometimes stigmatized in their community when it is revealed that they have been diagnosed with the Covid infection.
The discrepancy of demand and supply
With the unexpected rise in daily cases, India is facing a shortage of supply. This is has created a discrepancy, further encumbering vaccination drives.
India bas been criticized for being surprisingly conservative in introducing new vaccines. Covaxin, Covishield and Sputnik are the only vaccines available.
Are Vaccines Safe?
For many Indians, the question, “are vaccines safe?” has been a bigger dilemma than the epidemic itself. This is not to rule out the vaccine’s adverse effects, as several have been reported so far. Some of them are:
The latest data shows the 0.13% of vaccinated persons have suffered from a post vaccination covid infection, which is within the range of other vaccines globally. As per the established protocol, a 28-day gap is recommended between the two required dosages of Covaxin. The gap recommended between two dosages of Covishield is 12-16 weeks.
Why Should You Get Vaccinated?
The most obvious reason to get vaccinated is to increase your chances of surviving the current deady wave of thr COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, as someone who’s fully vaccinated, you get to return to a more normal lifestyle, such as being able to attend small gatherings where all guests are vaccinated. It also helps reduce the anxiety of wondering if you will get the virus, improving your overall state of mind.
In conclusion, receiving one of the vaccinations against Covid-19 is considered safe and perhaps the best way for the humanity to effectively deal with this invisible threat to survival. You can also contribute to the global community (and India's) goal of herd immunity by getting vaccinated. Even though a hundred percent vaccination in India is a difficult feat to achieve, your own decision to get vaccinated is the best way forward.
Please note: this blog post is provided for informational purposes and is not intended to replace the guidance of your personal physician. Please consult a medical professional if you have any concerns after reading this or other blog posts on this website.
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