Government shies away from opening markets for the Covid-19 vaccine in India
It has been two weeks since the Indian government started the vaccination drive in a fight against coronavirus pandemic but a question that still bothers many is why has it not opened the pharmaceutical market for these vaccines. This becomes even more of an issue when the number of doses manufactured in India are concerned.
Currently, India stands ahead of even a giant like China in terms of manufacturing coronavirus doses is concerned. One of the largest vaccine makers in the world, Serum Institute of India, manufactures nearly 5,000 vaccine doses every minute. Given this, one must think that India is ready to enter the market with these vaccines, but the government is not thinking on the same lines.
Soon after India started the world’s largest vaccination drive, it also started distributing vaccines to other nations, and that too free of cost. The list includes 13 countries till now. Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Bahrain, Brazil, Mauritius, Morocco, Oman, Seychelles, and Sri Lanka are a part of it.
In a report done by NDTV, it was revealed that even the experts in the field such as Kiran Mazumdar Shaw want the government to bring vaccines. He appealed to the center to allow private players to roll out the drug especially considering that capacity is not a problem for the country.
He noted that since all the government turrets are being met, it should not be a problem for the government. He tweeted, “We need to vaccinate 2m per day and unless private hospitals start vaccinating the general population we will struggle to keep pace with vaccine production which far outweighs utilization. Unlike other countries, we don’t have a shortage of supplies.”
India is a currency focusing on the priority list according to which the first preference is given to the healthcare workers. After this, the government will be looking to vaccinate the others who are either above 60 or are suffering from some disease. It is estimated that by the end of March, the number will rise by 30 percent translating the number of doses to 65 million doses.
As of now, nearly 11 million covid-19 doses are being procured by the government while 50 million doses are in stock. A major chunk of this will be exported to countries like Brazil, Morocco, South Africa, and Saudi Arabia.