Anup Malani on a Vaccine Strategy for India

Devising a vaccine strategy for India

India has now approved the vaccines developed by Astra-Zeneca and Bharat Biotech. Several more will likely be available later in 2021. Deploying these vaccines effectively will be crucial. India and other developing countries have to keep their specific circumstances in mind while formulating vaccine strategies.

India will not need to vaccinate 1.35 billion people, but just beyond the point where the reproductive rate is under control even without suppression. If India had, for example, 60% of people already infected and we knew who they were, we would have to vaccinate at most 40% or ~560 million persons. This requires approximately 1.1 billion doses, given that most vaccines need a booster dose. Actual targets will be higher if India cannot identify who already has natural immunity. The choice of vaccines will be constrained by cost, cold-chain availability and so on. There are five key issues that vaccine strategies must consider.

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