India Coronavirus Dispatch: About 3 million people vaccinated in two weeks

About 3 million people vaccinated in two weeks

Two weeks into the vaccination programme, India has vaccinated over 3 million frontline and healthcare workers against Covid-19, a report in The Quartz said. Since the start of the outbreak, the country has seen over 10 million cases. The Centre aims to inoculate 30 million essential workers in the first phase of the rollout. However, the pace of the vaccination drive has been slow owing to vaccine hesitancy and technical glitches on the Co-Win digital platform being used to monitor the drive. India also aims to inoculate 300 million of its people by August this year with the focus on people aged over 50 and those with co-morbidities. However, for that to happen, the country will need to pick up pace in the coming weeks. Read more here

Economic Survey lauds India’s Covid response

According to the conclusions of India’s Economic Survey 2021, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Bihar did the best job in containing the spread of the Covid-19, while Maharashtra fared the worst in efforts to slow the spread of the virus and save lives. Meanwhile, Kerala, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh saved the most lives, according to a report in ThePrint.

The annual document which summarises the economic health of the country and forms a basis for the Union Budget, made a strong argument in favour of the country’s “early” and stringent lockdown. The document said the lockdown was a driving factor behind the country’s success in managing the pandemic and in achieving a so-called “V-shaped” recovery in the economy. Read more here

India ranks near the bottom in a Covid-19 performance index

A Covid-19 performance index that profiled about a hundred countries for their response to the pandemic ranked India near the bottom, according to a report in The Quint. India ranked 86th of 98 countries in the index published by The Lowy Institute. New Zealand, Vietnam, and Taiwan appear handled the crisis in the best manner, according to the index. Britain, Brazil, and the US ranked among the bottom. China was excluded from the list due to a lack of credible publicly-available data. Read more here

Novavax vaccine highly effective against UK strain

US vaccine development company Novavax’s Covid-19 inoculant is highly effective against the UK variant, the firm said on Thursday, according to a report in ThePrint. The firm said the vaccine showed an efficacy of 85.6 per cent against the UK strain. Against the original strain, the vaccine has an efficacy of 89.3 per cent, the third phase of the clinical trials have shown. However, against the South African variant, the vaccine has an efficacy of just 49.4 per cent. Read more here

OPINION: Vaccination centres, number of recipients per site can be increased to pick up the pace

About 60-70 per cent of the population needs to be inoculated to reach herd immunity. At the current pace, this would take many years, an opinion piece in The Indian Express said. Currently, about 300,000 people are being inoculated a day (100 each at the 3006 session sites). At this rate, we would be only able to vaccinate 109 million people in a year and the inoculation drive would take 8 years to complete. To avoid this, we would have to administer 2.5 million doses per day, by either increasing vaccination centres or the number of recipients to 850 per site, the opinion piece said. Read more here

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