India is a country of great potential. It has vaccinated the highest number of persons in the world, without importing any quantity from outside. Two existing vaccine manufacturer’s capacity is approx. 7 crores per month, a large portion coming from Seram Institute, Pune, which is also bound by contractual agreement to export. As they have the transfer of technology arrangement with AstraZeneca Oxford. The capacity is going to be increased to 17.5 crores vaccines in phases in 4 months. Meanwhile competent authorities have also approved SPUTNIKV and Moderna vaccines. An Indian company of repute will be marketing and producing these foreign vaccines. Govt is keeping a close watch on all developments and experts are closely monitoring.
The government of India has already halted the vaccine export before the relaxation of the eligibility age group of vaccine bonfires to be covered under the vaccine drive. Once Govt approves which has already been taken into consideration as per the news rolling out. Production of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V in multiple institutes, in India, will further boost our vaccine resources. The situation in India is indeed bad, but considering the 1.4 billion population, half of whom are poor and illiterate, the density of the population, availability of medical infrastructure, and logistics are not in a good structure. But together we can come out successfully from this pandemic only with the help of vaccination. Another move has been taken by the government of India to facilitate the rapid vaccination process; now pregnant women are eligible to take vaccination jabs.
They have the option to take vaccination either by registering on the vaccination portal (CoWin) or they can simply visit the vaccination center and get the vaccination. GOI (Government of India) took the step on Friday and instructed all the states to comply with the rules and regulations to roll out the program of vaccination in a proper manner. After all the conundrums over the efficacy and side effects of the vaccine, the Government of India has finally authorized the vaccine for pregnant women of India. It is a big challenge for a large country like India, to have an effective distribution and to vaccinate the large population. Govt has already done fool proof planning of making the vaccine available in the even remotest corner. Sufficient paramedical staff has already been trained on storage of the vaccine and for vaccination, follow up on any adverse reactions, and handling them.
Guidelines have already been issued. Govt has already done a dry run in the past, a drill, successfully, to ensure smooth actual vaccination. Govt had already prioritized the vaccine schedule, as to who would be vaccinated first. Like the Doctors, paramedical staff, police, people above the age of 50, diabetic patients than healthy adults. Every minute detail was taken into the consideration. We are witnessing the biggest vaccination drive in the world. GOI has decided to procure covid vaccination for pregnant women after thorough research over the vaccine and its efficacy. It will help women in the protection against the upcoming waves of coronavirus. The government of India also further stated that vaccination is a must for everyone and it should be taken on time to get protected from the virus.
The previous month, the health ministry enforced the eligibility of vaccines for lactating women but pregnant women were not listed because of the lack of data on the vaccination. Earlier there was no evidence of the efficacy of vaccine on pregnant women, along with the trial was going. That’s why, the government was in anticipation of the implementation of the vaccination for pregnant women. Now the manufacturers of the vaccine have procured detailed data to the government. Based on the data, GOI has reinforced the vaccination for pregnant women and collaborated with all the state governments for proper inductance of the process. The GOI did take steps to facilitate the discovery of Covaxin and the manufacture of Covishield & Covaxin. The state governments were playing “secular” politics and doing next to nothing to stop the proliferation of the virus.
The virus was spreading but the state governments did not spruce up the medical facilities to vaccinate people in large quantities to match the production of the vaccine. At this time a lot of smaller countries were crying for help and a pandemic being a universal problem, India supplied the unused quantities to these countries. After the second wave, the deaths increased and people started clamouring for vaccines and medicines (though there is no medicine till now to cure the corona). The doctors, projected as angels, fleeced people and made a fast buck. Remdesevir, for example, was “not useful” as per WHO, but our doctors went on issuing prescriptions for dozens per patient even before he was admitted. Thus, an artificial demand & scarcity was created so that the state governments can blame the central government and escape from shouldering their responsibilities.
The state governments had lakhs of vaccines with them but at some clinics, boards saying “no vaccine” was put up because the state governments could not evolve a system to distribute the vaccines or medicines properly. The GOI can be blamed for just one thing. They did not publicize the facts properly and put the state governments as the culprit. Delhi government in their place. All governments led by the Khan-Cross or its allies were intent on showing Modi in a bad light, instead of doing anything good for the people. “The Health Ministry has given guidelines that the vaccine can be given to pregnant women. Vaccination is useful for them and should be given,” the statement is given by Dr. Balram Bhargava during an interview with a prominent news channel. Mr. Bhargava is the Director-General of the Indian Council for Medical Research.
Furthermore, he said that the discussion and implementation of the vaccination for pregnant women was under consideration for the last few months, we were waiting for the data from the manufacturers. The aim of vaccinating everyone above 18 along with the program of vaccination of pregnant women would be to cause herd immunity so that the impact of Covid is drastically reduced and more lives can be saved. However, we am uncertain at this point whether this would hold for current mutant varieties or future mutant varieties as well. Also, people may start getting careless and think themselves immune and not take precautions which might create a messy issue. Our problem is not just policy, but lacking competence in planning, forecasting, advance ordering, supplies, and logistics, external and internal.
The committee of the vaccination implementation stated that the situation of the coronavirus wave has calmed but that doesn’t mean we are free from the virus. After a precise study over the data of the vaccination, NTAGI-STSC stated that it is a must for pregnant women to take the vaccine and told that pregnant women must also be included under the eligibility criteria of the ongoing vaccination drive. The risk of getting coronavirus is much higher this time owing to the variation in the virus. Now the world is coping with different variants of coronavirus, which is much more infectious and deadly than the base version of the virus. There is a big problem of mismatching between demand, supply, and utilization of vaccines. Production is in full swing. The capacity of production is well known. Now the demand is not static as per anticipation.
As the corona surge abruptly increase unexpectedly, accordingly demand increased. There were so many cases where the supplied vaccine was not utilized so wasted, so demanded again. It was a national loss. Since demand, supply and utilization are not mechanical, the human factor is also involved which is of varying nature. Upward surge disturbed the supply chain, consequently, the shortage is felt. Although questions were raised against the rare but considerable side effects of the virus, a lot of reports have mentioned that the vaccines are causing neural issues in youngsters and blood clotting cases have also been reported in certain countries. The vaccine will be helpful for pregnant women or it will cause certain side effects, these questions have dwindled over the news and social media. But the implementation committee has told that the vaccines have far more benefits than side effects, so it is a must for all eligible citizens to take the vaccination as soon as possible.
Firstly, no vaccine has 100 percent efficacy. Then, till now, approx. 35 crores vaccines have been given to people, out of which, a large percentage have taken the first dose yet. So, a large population is yet to be covered. Generally, the people who have been vaccinated so far are such people who have been taking adequate precautions. People had also become casual when Corona affected population had reduced. Markets, cinema halls, buses, metros, were opened, but 2nd wave came along with a new strain of the virus, more infectious than earlier. Although, the reports of the committee about the implementation of the vaccination for pregnant women also include certain conditions. The report stated that the long-term side effects of the vaccine and its reverse effect on the foetus haven’t been observed yet. =
It should be the duty of the government and local bodies to make them aware of the terms and data obtained by the study on the vaccine. Vaccination for pregnant women was in the talk for a long time. Priyanka chaturvedi, Shiv Sena MP, told that that pregnant woman must also be included in the eligible list of the vaccination. They must be included for their safety. We demonstrated generosity by supplying vaccines early on to many countries, but we lacked grace in not being able to meet the small complete needs of the tiny Neighbour Bhutan, which would be helped by the EU. Now India is offering its help only after its sufficiency of the vaccine. We have gone through the prolonged crisis of vaccines and at that time now other developed countries forwarded their helping hand. But somehow our government will have to get selfish like other European countries and furnish the demand of the vaccine to reach the goal of total vaccination of India.
We are still coping with the second wave of the coronavirus and our vaccination process is still slow. However, Government has stated that by the end of this year total population of our country will be vaccinated against the virus. On the other hand, the vaccination process is going on for only above 18 years of age. Government should ramp up the process and induce the workforce to increase the production of the vaccine. Because vaccination will be the only rigid wall that will protect us against the Coronavirus. Now all persons above 18 yrs. age are being vaccinated and more vaccination centers have been opened, more population will be covered. Side by side, tests have been increased and isolation centers have also. Special focus is given to the most affected states. People will have to remain vigilant, continue the use of masks properly even after Vaccinations.
Even after vaccination, virus can affect when entry points, that is mouth and nose are not covered by the mask. Of course, infection will be small as antibodies will overpower the virus. There is an inside game going on at the political podium, few conglomerates control most of the TV and newspaper media and got the support of the anti-Indian western media which take vicarious pleasure in painting India in poor light. The UK strain was not publicized so much as the Indian strain of the virus. We had celebrated vaccine Utsav from 11–14 April to include maximum eligible beneficiaries to be inoculated according to the latest news. We have to speed up the vaccine coverage with the surge in the COVID cases in many parts of the country, according to vaccine experts. Let’s wish that India will succeed in covering a maximum number of its population with a complete vaccination schedule.