India’s gigantic vaccination campaign in numbers

A health worker waits to be vaccinated at the Rajaji government hospital in Madurai, India, on January 16, 2021

© Arun Sankar
A health worker waits to be vaccinated at the Rajaji government hospital in Madurai, India, on January 16, 2021

India begins one of the largest coronavirus vaccination campaigns in the world on Saturday, hoping to end an epidemic that has killed 150,000 people in the country and sunk its economy.

The AFP proposes a summary of this titanic task in figures:

– 300 million people –

During the first phase of the campaign, India is counting on vaccinating about a quarter of its population, or 300 million people, by July. These are mainly health personnel, people over 50 and people at risk.

On the first day of the campaign, some 300,000 people will be vaccinated in the 3,000 centers of the country.

Some 150,000 people in 700 districts have been trained to administer vaccines and keep records. The government has planned to manage the entire process with its own application, CoWIN, which will associate each dose of the vaccine with the recipient.

– 45,000 refrigerators (and a bicycle) –

India has four “mega warehouses” to receive the vaccines and transport them to the distribution centers of the different states in vehicles at a constant temperature of 8ºC below zero.

Respect for the cold chain should be guaranteed by the mobilization of 29,000 temperature-controlled storage points, about 300 cold rooms – of which 70 are freezing rooms – 45,000 refrigerators, 41,000 freezers and 300 solar-powered refrigerators.

In a recent trial in the rural region of the state of Uttar Pradesh – where summer temperatures exceed 40 ° C – a health worker was caught carrying boxes of fake vaccine on the bar of his bicycle.

– 3 seconds –

Real-time surveillance of the vaccine supply chain is imperative and trucks will have police and technological protection throughout the country.

To prevent any failure of the system, surveillance cameras have been installed in the warehouses, which can be accessed after a body search and identity verification using fingerprints.

The authorities, who do not want to leave any rope untied, have installed control rooms in each district to ensure 24/7 surveillance and monitoring of the way vaccines arrive, are stored and are administered.

Technological devices will monitor the temperature of warehouses and transmit messages every three seconds to a central, according to the Times of India.

“Security measures are essential not only to deal with logistics and security, but also for the population to have the assurance that the cold chain is maintained in an uninterrupted and safe way until the point of delivery”, explains Preeti Kumar, doctor and expert in public health policies.

– 200 rupees a dose –

India has placed an order for a first batch of 11 million doses of Covishield, a version of the AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, at the price of 200 rupees ($ 2.74) per unit, as well as 5, 5 million doses of Covaxin at Rs 206 per unit.

Covaxin, which is developed by the Bharat Biotech laboratory and the Indian Council for Medical Research, obtained “emergency approval” in early January, at the same time as Covishield. But approval for Covaxin has been granted before the conclusion of phase 3 trials, which is of concern to the medical environment.

The Serum Institute of India then plans to sell directly to individuals and companies in India doses for 1,000 rupees ($ 14) a unit, raising concerns that those who can afford it will override the poor.

– 69% are in no rush –

69% of people are in no rush to get vaccinated, according to a recent survey of 18,000 people across the country. Skepticism and mistrust of the public are fueled by misinformation on the internet.

– And a Brazilian flight –

Other developing countries rely on India for access to vaccines. Brazil plans to send a plane to the Asian giant this weekend to search for two million vaccines at the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest producer of vaccines.

Labh-grk-stu / rma / lth / ybl / af / rsr

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