NEW DELHI (AP) – Hoping to quell a monstrous jump in COVID-19 infections, India opened vaccinations for all adults on Saturday, launching huge inoculation efforts that will surely tax the borders of the federal government, the country’s vaccine factories. and the patience of its 1.4 billion people.
The world’s largest vaccine maker still lacked critical supplies as a result of lagging production and a shortage of raw materials, which delayed implementation in several countries.
And even in places where the shots were in stock, major economic disparities in the country made access to the vaccine volatile.
The country’s ambitious efforts were partially overshadowed by a fire at a COVID-19 ward in the West Indies that killed 1
Only part of India’s population will be able to afford the prices charged by private hospitals for the shot, experts said, meaning the states will be burdened with immunizing 600 million Indian adults under the age of 45, while the federal government provides photos of 300 million health and front workers and people over the age of 45.
Until now, government vaccines have been free, and private hospitals have been allowed to sell photos at a price limited to 250 rupees, or about $ 3.
This practice will now change: Prices for state governments and private hospitals will be set by vaccine companies. Some states may not be able to provide vaccines for free because they pay twice as much as the federal government for the same shot and prices in private hospitals may rise.
Because state governments and private players compete for photos in the same market and states pay less for doses, vaccine manufacturers can make more profit by selling to the private sector, said Chandrakant Laharia, a health policy expert.
This price can then be passed on to the people receiving the shots, increasing inequality.
As a positive development, the country received on Saturday its first batch of Sputnik V vaccines, which it imports from Russia.
Moscow has signed a contract with an Indian pharmaceutical company to distribute 125 million doses.
India thought the worst was over when the cases disappeared in September.
But mass gatherings such as political rallies and religious events were allowed to continue, and calm attitudes about risks fueled a major humanitarian crisis, according to health experts.
New variants of the coronavirus have partly led to the wave.
The country’s photo shortage has global implications, as in addition to its own inoculation efforts, India has promised to supply vaccines abroad as part of a vaccine-sharing program of the World Health Organization that depends on its supplies.
Indian vaccine manufacturers produce approximately 70 million doses each month from the two approved shots – the AstraZeneca vaccine, made by the Serum Institute in India, and another, made by Bharat Biotech.
The federal government buys half of these vaccines to give to the states.
The other half can then be purchased from states and private hospitals to be given to anyone over the age of 18, but at prices set by the companies.
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