What is a viable vaccine strategy for India? - eNidhi India Travel Blog

What is a viable vaccine strategy for India?

 There are several complexities in the planned vaccine drive for all Indian adults

  • Sheer number- about 60-70 crore adults (18-45 years age group) eligible
  • Vaccination Process still not complete for 45+
  • Massive demand and supply shortage
  • Supply chain management- need to manufacture deliver to all over the country- I believe delivery is not an issue, only manufacturing would take time.
  • Complex pricing rules & priorities- Rs 150 for center, 300 for states, 600 for private hospitals- who should be sent first- one who pays most? or central govt or states with maximum cases? not clear.
  • Readiness of healthcare centers and hospitals  (space, staff etc) to administer the vaccine to thousands of people every day along with ever surging cases of covid
Though Govt announced all adults are eligible from 1st May, ground realities suggest such a roll out is unlikely till end of may. Many states who have placed order for vaccine are given tentative dates towards end of May. So best hope is vaccination drive picks up by June.

Big apathy seems to be lack of planning. Central Govt has made state governments and private hospitals responsible. They need to update info into covin portal as to when they can administer doses, accordingly registered users can select a slot. So far, no one has any clarity and no one has got any schedule fixed.

Here is my thought on how this can be streamlined.

Step 1: Let those who can pay, get it at private hospitals
There are lakhs of individuals who can afford to pay a small amount for vaccine. If hospitals pay 600 Rs to pharma company, they will charge 1000-1200 to end consumer as they have to pay staff, rental etc. So about 2000-2500 Rs for two doses feels reasonable amount for those who can afford to pay and get it on priority. Add proper scheduling/customer service (we don't have to go and come back empty handed), some document/certification that will be useful during travel and quality service can be value adds.

People who want to travel abroad, rich people who can afford to pay or middle class people who don't mind paying, let them pay and get vaccinated on priority.

Step 2: Corporates: Many corporates are ready to pay for vaccination of their staff and family. Hospitals can work with such corporates and get fair bit of workforce vaccinated. This will enable companies to open up offices, reduce worry for staff and risk of staff taking multiple leaves to visit vaccine center.

With above 2 steps complete, a small bit of population can be freed up and economic activities will resume.

Step 3: Free jabs for everyone at Govt institutes: Assuming May is spent in above steps, Pharma companies now have enough time to plan and can start delivering larger volumes to states from June. States and center can now start administering vaccine to everyone else for free. Some prioritization can be defined to avoid crowding. Those who have filed ITR or other forms of taxes, relatives of front line workers etc can be given some priority as their vaccination helps resume economic activity. Age group breakdown like 35-44 first, 25-34 next etc will help reduce crowd n plan better.

Of course everyone wants it for free and everyone wants it now. But my plan is more realistic and achievable. What do you think?

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