How India Could Win Its COVID Vaccination Race
India faces a seemingly mammoth COVID-19 vaccination challenge, but its progress so far suggests it may be well equipped to handle the task. Other countries seeking to protect their populations from the pandemic should draw at least three lessons from India's efforts.
WASHINGTON, DC – As the world enters the second year of the coronavirus pandemic, vaccination has moved front and center in policymakers’ responses. But while vaccines offer the surest way out of the crisis, countries are approaching them in different ways. Some are racing to vaccinate their populations, while others await longer-term efficacy data before beginning. Still other countries find themselves in a long line to receive or purchase desperately needed doses.
Many have noted the rapid rate of Israel’s vaccination drive, the ambition of the United Kingdom, which was the first country to approve a COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, and the stumbles to get supplies distributed in the United States and the European Union. But for those seeking lessons on how to protect a population through vaccination, there’s another country to watch: India.
With 1.3 billion people, and an estimated 11 million cases of COVID-19 to date, India faces a seemingly mammoth vaccination challenge. But the government recently announced a plan to vaccinate around 300 million people by early August. And, judging by the country’s preparations and actions so far, it may be well equipped to handle the task.