India biggest buyer of COVID-19 vaccine with 1.6 billion doses: Report
India has confirmed 1.6 billion doses of three vaccines as of November 30 while the US and the European Union have purchased doses of six candidates
India is the largest buyer of COVID-19 vaccines in the world with 1.6 billion doses said a global analysis stating a number some scientists say could ‘cover 800 million people, or 60 percent of its population, and will be enough to develop herd immunity.’
According to the Launch and Scale Speedometer’ analysis by US-based Duke University Global Health Innovation Center, which is updated every two weeks, India has confirmed 1.6 billion doses of three vaccines as of November 30 while the US and the European Union have purchased doses of six candidates.
The Indian Express report quoted the analysis which said that the countries with manufacturing capacity, including India, have been successful in negotiating large advance market commitments with leading vaccine candidates as part of the manufacturing agreements.
The PTI report carried by The Indian Express quoted virologist Shahid Jameel as saying that all the vaccines ‘pre-booked’ by India are manufactured by Indian companies Oxford-AstraZeneca and Novavax by Serum Institute of India (SII) in Pune and Sputnik V by Dr. Reddy’s Lab in Hyderabad.
India’s domestic vaccine candidate by Bharat Biotech also entered Phase 3 clinical trials this week, he noted in the analysis.
“We can expect the first 250 million to be vaccinated in 2021; the remaining in the following years. The problem will not be vaccine doses, but the ability to deliver them,” Jameel explained.
He noted that 1.6 billion doses would cover 800 million people or 60 percent of India’s population. The first 500 million doses, the virologist said, are likely to go to 250 million people in the group that includes frontline workers, healthcare workers, sanitation, emergency services, and security services.
This group also includes the elderly above 65 and patients with comorbidities.
Meanwhile, the report quoted Immunologist Satyajit Rath as saying that there is currently no particularly reliable estimate of the percentage of community coverage needed to be vaccinated to reach the point of ‘herd immunity’. The reliability of models being used for these estimations is far from clear, he stressed.