• January 28, 2023

Is India Running Out of Vaccine Doses? : NPR

A public notice hangs outside a vaccination center in Mahim, Mumbai, India on Thursday, warning of vaccine shortages. Satish Bate / Hindustan Times via Getty Images Hide caption

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Satish Bate / Hindustan Times via Getty Images

A public notice hangs outside a vaccination center in Mahim, Mumbai, India on Thursday, warning of vaccine shortages.

Satish Bate / Hindustan Times via Getty Images

MUMBAI – About 100 vaccination centers in India’s financial capital, Mumbai, were abruptly closed on Friday due to dose shortages as the country confirmed its highest daily increase in coronavirus cases since the pandemic began.

People who had appointments to get their recordings came to find Printouts glued to hospital doors warned her that the vaccines had run out. they vented anger and asked for help on social media.

At least half a dozen Indian states report similar bottlenecks. The eastern state of Odisha 700 vaccination centers were closed earlier this weekand said there were only two days’ worth of supplies left at the remaining facilities.

Coronavirus infections are now increasing in India. The Indian Ministry of Health confirmed on Friday nearly 132,000 new cases – more than any other day since the pandemic began. The death toll was 780, the highest in five months.

The Indian government denies any bottlenecks. In a tweet on late ThursdayHealth Minister Harsh Vardhan urged the public to “put an end to the scare tactics”. He said 19 million more vaccine doses were “in the pipeline”.

India is home to, and has administered, the world’s largest vaccine maker, the Serum Institute of India Almost 95 million doses of vaccine so far. But that’s still less than 6% of India’s nearly 1.4 billion people. Experts say vaccinations will take years to protect everyone.

With this recent surge in infections, India has diverted some of the Serum Institute’s exports for domestic use in recent weeks. Other countries have complained that their vaccination orders from India have been delayed. Earlier this week, Serum said his Production was “very stressed” and that more funding is needed from the Indian government to meet the demand.

Just before midnight Thursday, a city official in Mumbai tweeted a list of the city’s vaccination centers, 99 of which are marked in red – an indication that they will be closed the next day. Even those slated to open on Friday could run out of stocks early, he warned.

India’s COVID-19 drop burden fell to a record low in February, but has skyrocketed since then. Epidemiologists have attributed the recent surge in infections to lax social distancing that delays mask mandates – and possibly new variants.

Authorities have imposed curfews in Mumbai, New Delhi and several other major cities. Large gatherings are prohibited. But most restaurants, shops – even cinemas – are open in large parts of the country.

Migrant workers are alleged Pack on trains and buses to try and leave big cities for their home villages before possible local lockdowns.

Officials have held back to declare a strict nationwide lockdown, in part because of what happened last spring: India’s economy shrunk by almost 24% under statewide restrictions and there have been cases of Hunger among the poor.

NPR producer Sushmita Pathak contributed to this report.

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