Finance Ministry: Pitch for 24/7 vaccination drive

In order to build herd immunity and regain the momentum of economy, the Finance Ministry has made a strong tilt towards vaccinating 70 crore people by September, with at least first dose of vaccine.

Because attaining the objective will necessitate delivering 93 lakh doses every day from now on, the Ministry has proposed making vaccination a 24-hour effort, especially in August and September, when vaccine supplies are projected to improve. “This might allow for an ambitious, but feasible, throughput of 1 crore shots each day,” it stated.

The Ministry predicted that 70 crore individuals need to be vaccinated shortly, assuming herd immunity at 80 percent of the adult population. As of now, 19.2 crore people have received the first dosage, with 4.7 crore having received the entire vaccine. If 70 crore people must be vaccinated by September 2021, the Ministry estimates that 113 crore doses will be required.

While efforts are being made to expedite vaccine procurement from the international market, with 216 crore doses expected to be manufactured in India between August and December, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare suggested aligning supplies with the September 2021 target and a system in which “people who have antibodies [are] vaccinated later while people who have not been exposed [are] given priority.”

“Use of technology to simplify vaccine administration, increased shifts at vaccination centers, and integration of mass vaccination sites such as shopping malls, drive-ins, and schools with primary health care centers will enhance faster vaccination coverage,” the ministry suggested in its monthly economic report for May, released by the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA).

“To now, the highest daily immunization rate achieved is 42.65 lakh. It was noted that “this peak was obtained with one shift of 8-9 hours of immunization,” suggesting that this may be increased to two shifts or even 24 hour vaccination sites.

“Challenges such as vaccine supply, vaccination hesitancy, and operational issues to achieve high daily throughput and wide reach must be foreseen and planned for,” says the report.

“As we carefully recover from the second wave, swift vaccination and frontloading of the fiscal measures scheduled in the Union Budget are critical to reviving investment and, by extension, the consumption cycle in the coming quarters… According to the Ministry, the operational problems may be overcome by careful planning and upscaling of transportation, storage, and vaccine delivery capabilities.

According to a review of the percent of the people vaccinated in each state compared to its share of the total population, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, and Jharkhand need to step up their vaccination efforts.

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