Vaccination

Today is 1st of May. Government of India announced the eligibility for all adults and vaccination is expected to start today. 

But where are the vaccines? 

Not in sight at all.

Should you worry? May not be. May be yes. I don't know.

This is little ranting and also an attempt to bring some sanity to thoughts to myself and my readers.

Second wave of COVID-19 has hit India badly. We are seeing the infections in every corner. No day passes by when we don't hear anyone known getting affected or even deaths. It has been proven beyond doubt that vaccination is the only reliable way to avoid serious illness by COVID-19. Then why isn't it available in required quantities across India?

We all need to remember we are 130 crore people country. The challenges are mammoth. Probably no one has had any experience in handling such a huge pandemic. Some mistake have happened and are bound to happen. 

I have a feeling that GoI definitely failed to anticipate the impact of second wave, grossly underestimated the need of the vaccine, quantity and lead time requirements. 

  1. Initially central government was controlling the purchase and distribution of the vaccines. That seemed to go well in the initial days. However, as days passed by and target population increased, the shortcomings started to surface. Vaccines started disappearing from the vaccination centres. People started going from one centre to other in search of the vaccine. The appointments didn't work as there was no sufficient stock available. 
  2. Need for second shot added to the misery of people. They need to have second shot from the same manufacturer for completing the vaccination. The stock received for Covaxin and Covishield varied every day and then people started scrambling for second shot. I know few who have been waiting for their second shot as they are not finding the centre with required stock availability. These are 45+ folks and they find it really difficult to search across the centres.
  3. GoI suddenly announced that effective 1st May states can purchase the vaccines directly from the manufacturers, essentially decentralising the process. This appeared to be a better move as now states can manage their state of affairs without any dependency on the central government. At first this looked good. However, now it appears as if the Centre has done this without planning. If states or private hospitals are to place order with the manufacturers, when would they receive the stock? No one knows. 
  4. In all this, the people who need to get their second shot are getting burned. Struggling to find a centre where they can get the second shot. Many of them tried to complete their second shot before the frenzy starts today. But were unable. 
  5. The CoWin app, which is used by the government for registration and appointments is now only getting registrations done. No appointments since there's no vaccine. It is utterly impossible for people to keep checking it every day and schedule the appointment. I am afraid people will start losing patience and also the willingness to get vaccinated.
Even if I completely understand the scale at which all this needs to be operated, I strongly feel the government has failed in planning and execution too. It would have been easy to reach out to private sector to help plan and strategise complete vaccination drive. In fact, it could be done even now, only if the administration is willing to do so.

I hope better sense prevails .. soon... 


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