Scripting history: On 100 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses

India must not lose sight of the goal of vaccinating all eligible adults by year-end

While basking in glory, it is important not to lose sight of the bigger goal of vaccinating all eligible adults by the year-end. Even as vaccine supply is increasing, the pace of the vaccination drive has to be speeded up to meet the objective. If over 75% of the eligible adults have already been vaccinated with one dose, the proportion of adults who are fully vaccinated is only 31%. Since vaccination with two doses is necessary to increase the protection level, efforts should be directed at increasing the pace of second dose vaccination. China has already administered over 2.2 billion doses and fully vaccinated over 75% of the eligible population even by mid-September. Crossing the one-billion mark became possible as India stopped the export of vaccines, impacting most low- and middle-income countries. On October 14, nearly six months after halting exports, India finally supplied vaccines to four countries; further supplies will depend on production and demand. It is imperative that vaccine production is quickly ramped up to meet demand. Any more delay in meeting international obligations will greatly hurt India’s credibility as a reliable vaccine supplier to the global South.

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