As India gears up to vaccinate every citizen above 18 years of age and below 44 years of age against COVID-19 from May, the Indian School of Business (ISB) has said that the current level of supply of the jabs is not good enough to even sustain the inoculation rate witnessed in the first week of April. In its presentation to the NITI Aayog, ISB even stated that many states are likely to face a shortage of the life-saving vaccines till July-end.
Going by this presentation, an average of 34.6 lakh vaccinations were carried out per day on an average in the first week of April. This figure includes both those who received the first dose as well as those who got the second dose.
ISB's presentation on COVID-19 vaccine shortage and related issues before the NITI Aayog was prepared by Professor Sarang Deo, Professor Sripad Devalkar, and research associates Abhishek Reddy and Syed Junaid.
"The average vaccination rate marks considerable variability across rates. Typically, the vaccination rate is lower on Sunday and highest on Monday. In the first week of April, while the average daily vaccination rate was 34.6 lakh doses, it was only 17.3 lakh doses on April 4 (Sunday) and as high as 45 lakh doses on April 5 (Monday), " Professor Devalkar told Times of India.
According to ISB's Professor Sarang Deo, stocks of COVID-19 vaccines that were produced and distributed to all the states and UTs initially were sufficient enough since the vaccination rates were low. Deo further stated when vaccination rates started gaining momentum, stocks were only enough to meet the vaccination requirements in the the first week of April.
The government needs to be cautious of the limitations in vaccine delivery capacity as vaccination against COVID-19 has not penetrated beyond urban and semi-urban areas in most states, according to one of the researchers. He noted that routine vaccinations are being conducted at anganwadis which is notches below the primary health centre (PHC).
Edited by Mehak Agarwal