India to miss July vaccination target over low COVAXIN supply
India will miss its target to give out over 500 million (50 crore) coronavirus vaccine shots by the end of July, mainly because of low supplies of COVAXIN, its only indigenous jab so far. India's ambitious COVID-19 vaccination drive has remained marred by supply issues and hesitancy among sections of the population. Here are more details on this.
Government had said it would arrange 51.6cr doses by July
In May, the Indian government had announced it would make 51.6 crore shots available by the end of this month. India has given out over 43 crore doses and it is currently administering an average of 45 lakh daily doses. The country would have to triple its daily vaccinations up to 1.4 crore to meet the target. But data suggests that will be impossible.
Only 2.5 crore doses of COVAXIN supplied this month
For the said projection, the government had been relying on 6 to 7 crore monthly doses of COVAXIN starting July or August. But Bharat Biotech, the company behind this vaccine, will be able to supply only 2.5 crore doses this month and 3.5 crore in August, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had told the Parliament last week.
India aims to inoculate all adults by December
India aims to inoculate all adults - estimated to be 94.4 crore - by the end of this year. For that target, the government is counting on 50 crore doses of Covishield and some 40 crore doses of COVAXIN. Supplies of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine have remained limited. Meanwhile, doses of India's another approved jab, Moderna, may not arrive until next year, reports suggest.
7% of Indians are fully vaccinated yet
India has administered the most number of COVID-19 vaccines globally, after China, but its vaccination rate per population remains poor. Even though nearly 25% of Indians have received at least one vaccine shot, just about 7% have been fully inoculated as yet. Around 88% of all vaccine doses administered in India have been Covishield's, locally manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII).
Zydus Cadila vaccine could be approved soon
Indian drug firm Zydus Cadila had applied for the emergency use authorization of its vaccine earlier this month and an approval is expected soon. Separately, the country will likely start inoculating children against the coronavirus by September.
India's coronavirus situation
India had faced the world's worst coronavirus outbreak earlier this year, reporting lakhs of cases and thousands of deaths daily. The situation has since improved as the country has been reporting around 40,000 daily cases for the past few weeks. However, experts have warned that a third wave could hit India by the end of next month.