The Strategist

India starts massive vaccination campaign

01/18/2021 - 03:14

India, the second most populous and coronavirus-infected country in the world, has begun a mass vaccination campaign. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the largest vaccination campaign in history, within which more than 300 million people, that is, one in five Indians, will be vaccinated in the coming months.

Modi urged his fellow citizens to put aside prejudice and believe in the effectiveness of the two vaccines used in the first phase - Covishield from British-Swedish company AstraZeneca and Covaxin from Indian company Bharat Biotech. India also intends to become one of the world's leading centers for production of vaccines against COVID-19.

On the eve of the vaccination campaign, the number of detected cases of coronavirus infection in India exceeded the mark of 10.5 million people. Although the rate of increase in the number of cases has decreased slightly since the beginning of the year, the country still has the second highest number of COVID-19 infections in the world after the USA and the third highest number of deaths (after the USA and Brazil).

For the vaccination campaign, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare created the online platform Co-WIN (COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network), which will provide information on the progress of vaccination and is intended to facilitate the work of the services involved in its implementation. Everyone who registers through the Co-WIN app will receive a text message with the date, time, and location of their vaccination, which will help avoid waiting lists.

According to Airfinity, the Indian pharmaceutical industry already has the capacity to produce more than 3.6 billion doses of six different vaccines, while the United States can produce 4.8 billion doses of 12 vaccines.

The British company estimates that of the 3.6 billion doses of vaccines to be produced in India this year, 1.3 billion doses will come from AstraZeneca, 1 billion doses from Novavax in the United States and 700,000 doses from Sputnik V in Russia.