India Exports Over Twice The Number Of Doses Used At Home
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India has shipped over 5.84 crore doses of indigenous Covid-19 vaccines to 70 countries, as against 3.48 crore jabs it has administered across the country since the inoculation drive began on January 16. The data on exports of 583.85 lakh doses assumes significance as the goal of vaccinating millions of Indians could fall behind given the existing rate of vaccination, experts told.

The highest number of vaccinations in a single day over three million shots was recorded on March 15. Besides, the recent surge in Covid-19 cases in some states, including Maharashtra has led to a demand for expediting vaccinations across the country by covering those outside the priority population.

Several health experts and doctors as well as CEOs, have urged the Centre to speed up vaccinations of the general population to counter the surges. A scale of four or five of what we are doing today should be the minimum goal, says Gagandeep Kang, a professor at Christian Medical College, Vellore. The government should consider much greater private sector involvement and outreach vaccinations to get vaccines to the vulnerable. No doses should be wasted, says Kang.

Health economist Rijo M John felt that vaccinations need to be ramped up to at least 3.8 million doses a day to reach the target of 600 million doses by August. If the supply of doses is comfortable in certain states and the vulnerable population has been given the jab, then it can be opened up for other age groups. At present, vaccinations at government facilities in most states are available only four days a week.

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