Anup Malani on the Need for an India-Specific Vaccine Allocation or Prioritization Plans

Devise an India-specific Covid vaccination plan

With the possibility that several vaccines will be available soon, it is now essential to develop and disseminate a Covid-19 vaccine allocation plan. Those in India infected with Sars-CoV-2 are likely to have developed some form of immunity. Judging by studies around the country that have found under 50% seroprevalence, however, more than half the population remains susceptible to Covid-19. Even at optimistic estimates of production capacity (60 million doses/month), it will take a minimum of a year to produce enough doses for every individual at risk. Some vaccines may require multiple doses, which compounds the problem. Then, there are the challenges of storage and distribution which could cause further delays.

It is tempting to look abroad for guidance on how to prioritise groups for vaccination. After all, many of the vaccines India may use are being developed abroad. While we have some things in common with other countries, there are several ways in which India differs which make it critical that we develop our own strategy.

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