The desperate wait gets longer
May 1, 2021 12:42 pm
India started its vaccine drive in January, amid plummeting cases and a fair bit of optimism.
The country’s very own Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s largest vaccine maker, was meant to supply most of the jabs as the country headed towards an ambitious target – covering 250 million people by July.
As part of a World Health Organization (WHO)-led scheme, India even exported vaccines to countries that needed them.
But three months on, COVID cases and deaths are spiking across the country.
Only about 26 million people have been fully vaccinated out of a population of 1.4 billion, and about 124 million have received a single dose.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has cancelled exports, reneging on international commitments. Worse, vaccine stocks in the country have nearly dried up, and no-one is sure when more will arrive.