India: Infections down as free vaccination underway

With Corona infections killing hundreds of thousands in the impoverished nation, authorities hope a new vaccination campaign eases the pain.

Eitan Divinsky ,

COVID in India
COVID in India

After Prime Minister Modi announced the government purchase of 75% of COVID-19 vaccines from drug producers earlier in the month, authorities in India kicked off a nationwide inoculation campaign, with 7.5 million doses administered Monday, according to a Reuters report. The goal is to have all adults fully vaccinated in a country where a second virus wave has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands.

According to the report, 10 million vaccines need to be administered daily to reach the government goal of 950 million adults by year's end. Less than 5% of the population has been fully inoculated thus far.

While locally-made vaccines have been given to the public, the government is working hard to attain more advanced foreign versions, asking world leaders to come to the aid of the second-most populous nation in the world, with upwards of 1.38 residents as of 2020.

India is second to the U.S. with 29.9 million recorded cases since the outbreak of the virus, alongside 28.8 million recoveries and approximately 388,000 deaths. Yesterday marked the lowest number of infections since March 24 of this year, however, with local authorities reporting just 53,256 new cases.

Disparities in socioeconomic status between the wide majority of the population residing in the countryside and the wealthier city-dwellers have exonerated the problem, as vaccine shortages have led to thousands of residents forced to pay a good portion of their daily wages for access to COVID vaccines.

Health officials are now hoping the ongoing vaccination drive along with doses beginning to pour in from first-world nations will bring long-sought relief to the fledgling nation but many warn of reopening the country too soon as the vast majority of residents have yet to receive the first dose of the vaccine.