INDIA – According to the Indian health minister, 24,37,732 students pursuing higher studies in Karnataka state will get vaccinated in a vaccination program that is already running.
The vaccination program is also targeting children below the age of ten based on priority with parents being encouraged to take their children for the jab.
The vaccine supply has been increased to make it possible with India currently administering two locally made vaccines, covishield and covaxin.
Serum Institute of India (SII) makes Covishield (under license from AstraZeneca), whilst the second largest producer, Bharat Biotech, makes the locally-developed Covaxin.
Earlier this year, the government of India had ordered a total of 356 million doses of the two vaccines to be available for use up until July, but not all of these doses had been delivered.
The country also has the Sputnik V vaccine supplied by the Russians in 3 million doses, that got approval for use in April.
India is also producing Sputnik V locally and supplies are expected to be available from July.
The government is targeting to produce 2 billion doses between August and December 2021 with the aim of having the country vaccinated.
As of data from today, India has administered 323.66 million vaccine doses achieving a single-day high record of more than 18 million administered doses on Friday.
But even this unprecedented pace may not be fast enough for a country just emerging from a devastating second wave to head off a third one, experts say.
They also question whether this week’s push averaging about 4.6 million doses a day, up from about 3 million for most of the past month, can be sustained.
The Karnataka state is currently experiencing a positivity rate of 11% and with this move the Health ministry is trying to help stop a possible third wave that is looming.
The vaccination campaign in the affected area is way to try and curb the spread owing to the fact that the younger generation are the super spreaders of the vaccine.
If all are targeted in the vaccination campaign, the state will avert a third wave.