ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

Of Vaccine Shortages and Transparency

The government’s narrative on vaccination should reflect sincerity, truth and transparency.

 

That the current COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives, at least in the short term, is beyond dispute. That we are perplexedscientifically and strategicallyis less clear; or at least the Indian state is not open about it. Indeed, why and how the government takes decisions with regard to the pandemic are shrouded in mystery and bad logic. The official strategy of vaccinating more and more of our population is in principle correct for those who believe vaccines to be the dominant instrument of fighting the pandemic; supplemented, of course, by physical distancing, wearing masks and other such actions.

At present, the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, called Covishield in India and manufactured by Serum Institute of India (SII), is the dominant COVID-19 vaccine in India approved for emergency use based on immunogenicity and safety data (though still not shared publicly) in Indian trials and with assumed efficacy from the United Kingdom trial data. To a far lesser extent at play is Bharat Biotechs Covaxin, which had arguably got approval in clinical trial mode in early January 2021, with its interim Phase 3 results released in late March 2021 claiming efficacy of around 81%. To date, more than 10 crore doses have been administered with either of these vaccines. However, it is clear that India needs more vaccines and more doses to meet the target of universal vaccination, or more modestly, the target of 60% to 70% vaccination coverage to attain some approximation of herd immunity against COVID-19.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here

Or

To gain instant access to this article (download).


Pay
INR 59

(Readers in India)


Pay
$ 6

(Readers outside India)

Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

Support Us

Your Support will ensure EPW’s financial viability and sustainability.

The EPW produces independent and public-spirited scholarship and analyses of contemporary affairs every week. EPW is one of the few publications that keep alive the spirit of intellectual inquiry in the Indian media.

Often described as a publication with a “social conscience,” EPW has never shied away from taking strong editorial positions. Our publication is free from political pressure, or commercial interests. Our editorial independence is our pride.

We rely on your support to continue the endeavour of highlighting the challenges faced by the disadvantaged, writings from the margins, and scholarship on the most pertinent issues that concern contemporary Indian society.

Every contribution is valuable for our future.