India is set to begin the third phase of the ‘world’s largest vaccination programme’ from May 1st which will designate all adults of age 18 and above as eligible for vaccination. However, this new phase brings with it the question of India’s capability in regards to vaccine inoculation. The second wave of coronavirus is ravaging the entire country with people lining up at crematoriums and graveyards for their loved ones’ final rites. There is no doubt that this phase will play a pivotal role in the war against coronavirus but can India’s vaccine supply support such a large vaccine rollout? The new vaccine agreement stipulates that the Central government will receive half the vaccines produced while the remaining are bound for the states and private hospitals and clinics.
A website for people to register for vaccination has been set up by the Centre titled CoWin. It can be accessed at cowin.gov.in but heavy traffic may be causing some minor issues.
The following is information regarding the vaccine rollout preparedness of some states:
Maharashtra had been the origin of the second wave of coronavirus and has long requested the Centre to begin vaccination for all adults so as to ease its infection rate. The Maharashtra government also stated that it will purchase vaccines worth ₹6,500 crore from the Indian vaccine manufacturers Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech. Over 200 more government vaccination centres will be opened in Maharashtra for the third phase along with several private vaccination centres. However, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray stated that his administration will not be able to support the new vaccination drive starting tomorrow.
The state of Tamil Nadu placed an order 1.5 crore vaccines for the third phase.
The Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan, revealed that the state will order 1 crore vaccine doses. Of these doses, 70 lakh will be Covishield and the remaining 30 lakh Covaxin. The order costs ₹480 crore and is estimated by the state government to last for 3 months.
Rajasthan’s government placed an order for 3.75 crore vaccine doses but it is quite unlikely that these will arrive on time for the state to start the third phase tomorrow.
The Assam government decided to purchase 2 crore vaccine doses, half from Serum Institute and the other half from Bharat Biotech.
Although, Punjab ordered 30 lakh doses of Covishield from Serum Institute, it is expected that the vaccines will be delivered around the middle of May.
As the consignment is yet to reach Delhi, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal said that no vaccination will be done for 18+ category on May 1. Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal stated that everyone will be administered with the vaccine free of charge during the third phase and had decided to purchase 1.3 crore vaccine doses.