The vaccination drive in India has hit a road bump with acute shortage of vaccines across the states. Citizens, within the age group of 18-44, who got their first shot of Covaxin last month, are now struggling to get a slot for their second dose, especially in Delhi-NCR. While the government has increased the recommended interval between Covishield to 6 to 12 weeks, the prescribed time frame between Covaxin remains 28 days, thus adding the vows of those who pinned their hope against Bharat Biotech.
Amid the crunch, several Delhites are now heading to Meerut, Noida and even Jaipur to get their second dose of Covaxin. Fear of the third wave of Covid-19 is only adding up to the anxiety. Even though the Centre has expressed that all Indians will be vaccinated by end of 2021, the on-ground reality is only getting grimmer.
Adding to the misery, Covaxin is being offered at multiple sites at different prices, with the highest being Rs 1800 at Moolchand drive through. Explaining the delay in Covaxin’s availability, Bharat Biotech has said in a statement that the timeline for manufacturing, testing and release for a batch of Covaxin is approximately 120 days, depending on the technology framework and regulatory guidelines to be met. Hence, the production batches of Covaxin that were initiated during March this year, will be ready for supply only during the month of June.
It added that for vaccines to result in actual vaccination of people, highly coordinated efforts are required from international supply chains, manufacturers, regulators and State and Central government agencies.