India Covid Vaccine Marketing campaign Begins
PUNE, India – India on Saturday launched one of the most ambitious and complex nationwide campaigns in its history: rolling out coronavirus vaccines to 1.3 billion people, a company that stretches from the dangerous regions of the Himalayas to the country’s dense jungles will extend southern tip.
The campaign takes place in a country that has reported more than 10.5 million coronavirus infections, the second largest case number after the United States, and 152,093 deaths, the third highest number in the world. About 300,000 health care workers should get the vaccines on Saturday, then another million health care workers and frontline workers by spring.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi kicked off the vaccination campaign with a live televised address on Saturday as 3,000 centers across the country were due to vaccinate an initial round of healthcare workers.
“Everyone was asking when the vaccine will be available,” Modi said. “It is available now. I congratulate all compatriots on this opportunity. “
In Pune, a city of about 3.1 million southeast of Mumbai, the first health worker to be shot at Aundh District Hospital was a nurse in a light green churidar, a traditional dress. Other health care workers clapped.
At Kamala Nehru Hospital in Pune, Dr. Rajashree Patil said she was excited and nervous to be among the first to get a vaccine.
Dr. Patil hired Covid-19 to work in the government hospital emergency room in May. She spent 12 days in a Covid unit in another hospital after losing her sense of smell and taste and suffering from extreme fatigue.
Hundreds of long stemmed red roses were neatly stacked on a table next to a bottle of hand sanitizer, one for each person registered for the Covishield vaccine, developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University and manufactured by the Serum Institute of India in Pune.
Covishield and another vaccine called Covaxin were approved for emergency use in India earlier this month. None of the vaccines have completed clinical trials. “I’m a little worried. We are actually on a trial basis, ”said Dr. Patil. “But I’m glad we’re getting it so that one day we can be corona free.”
India’s vaccination efforts face a number of obstacles, including a growing sense of complacency with the coronavirus. After a peak of more than 90,000 new cases per day was reached in mid-September, the country’s official infection rates have fallen sharply. According to a database from the New York Times, deaths have fallen by about 30 percent in the past 14 days.
There is a lot of activity in the streets of the city. Air and train travel have resumed. Social distancing and mask wearing standards, already sloppy in many parts of India, have continued to fall. That alarms experts who say the actual infection rate is likely much worse than the official figures suggest.
Doubts about the effectiveness of the vaccines make the mission even more difficult.
At least one state, Chhattisgarh, has refused to accept shipments of the vaccine, which is still in the final study. And just a few days ago one of India’s top virologists was debating whether to give him a push.
“There really isn’t a lack of confidence in the vaccine,” said virologist Dr. Gagandeep Kang. “It’s a lack of confidence in a process that has allowed the vaccine to move forward like this. If my vaccination convinced other people to take the vaccine, I would think that is not right. “