May 1 will allow 911 million citizens, below the age of 45, to register for the nationwide Liberalised and Accelerated Strategy vaccination programme. A lot rides on its successful implementation in the country’s fight against the pandemic.
India’s fight against the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic will enter a crucial stage in the next couple of days as adults below the age of 45 (or above the age of 18) will be registering for the Liberalised and Accelerated Phase-3 Strategy of Covid-19 Vaccination from May 1. Over 911 million citizens are eligible for vaccination in this stage and the government is determined to make a success of this campaign in a bid to lower Covid-19 infection rates.
A lot rides on the younger age group coming forward to get themselves vaccinated. Despite an alleged short supply of vaccines, the Health Ministry has asserted that a little more than one crore doses are lying with various states across the country. An additional 57 lakh vaccines are set to be made further available this weekend.
According to reports and government statements, the Centre has so far provided nearly 16 crore vaccine doses to States of which the total consumption including wastage is 14.8 crore doses. Demand for vaccines will rise over the next six months, but it is imperative that the amount of wastage is kept as low as possible as such opportunities must not be lost. Challenges in administration and logistics are woven into such nationwide programmes but the focus, quite naturally, will need to be on a smooth and speedy roll-out of what is a crucial weapon in the fight against the pandemic which is ravaging the country. The authorities claim to have provided nearly 16 crore vaccine doses to states of which the total consumption including wastage is 14.8 crore doses.
The issue of wastage is built into the roll-out as this can occur due to a number of factors - such as the vaccine reaching its destination after its expiry date; if it has been exposed to temperatures outside its normal bounds; suspected contamination and poor vaccine administration practices. In its operational guidelines on COVID-19 vaccination, the Wastage Multiplier Factor has been calculated at 1.11, assuming an allowable programmatic wastage of 10%. This number is factored into how many vials are allocated to States for supply of vaccine to each administrative unit.
It is no wonder that the Month of May will provide the administration with a proper screen shot of the Indian economy and much of this rides upon a successful vaccination programme. International analysts will be watching the movements in the Indian economy with great interest and the readings will be influenced by the progress in the fight against the second wave.
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The responsibility falls on the people who have to adopt a proactive approach against protecting themselves against infection.
In observations released today the government remarked that the cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has crossed 15-crore mark.Ten states -- Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra account for 67.18 per cent of the cumulative doses given so far in the country.More than 21 lakh vaccination doses were administered in the last 24 hours.India's cumulative recoveries stand at 1,50,86,878. The national recovery rate is 82.10 per cent. 2,69,507 recoveries were registered in the last 24 hours.
The global community, recognising India’s importance to the worldwide economy, has been galvanised into action to assist the Narendra Modi administration in putting up a fight against rising infection and death rates. The prospects of the entire global economy is at stake here.
According to the IMF, India is expected to grow by 12.5% this year, while S&P Global Ratings has said the Indian economy is projected to grow at 11%. The current wave spreading across the country will ensure that India’s second quarter could be challenging. The IMF’s chief economist Gita Gopinath has cautioned that its previous calculations were made before the pandemic’s second wave. Forecasting Oxford Economics also revised India GDP’s forecast from 11.8% to 10.2% for 2021.
The successful roll-out of the vaccine programme is stronger than any fiscal measure announced by the government. India’s rural quarter is booming, thanks to bumper wheat harvests, but the services sector needs resuscitation against the crippling second wave given that millions are employed in it. Everything depends on just a shot in the arm.