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Vaccination could become complicated because Prime Minister Narendra Modi's administration announced the liberalization of vaccine prices from May 1.
India's Health Ministry on Monday revealed that it administered 141.9 million doses in the first 100 days of the world's largest vaccination campaign, which is expected to immunize 1.35 billion people in the country.
Authorities aim to provide two doses of vaccines to 300 million people by the end of July. For the past two weeks, however, the number of daily vaccinations has declined, casting doubt on the feasibility of reaching this target.
In the last 24 hours, authorities vaccinated only 995,288 people, a figure much lower than the 3.7 million citizens vaccinated on April 12. This comes at a time when India recorded 352,991 new infections and 2,812 deaths in a single day.
“Amongst those who died was Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Kajal Sinha (59), the candidate from the Khardah assembly segment, who succumbed to the disease after being on a ventilator for three days,” local outlet News Click reported, recalling that “four other candidates from different parties had lost their lives due to the infection.”
India's vaccine production system is also stretched to the limit, said Adar Poonawalla, the executive director of the Serum Institute of India (SII), the world's largest vaccine manufacturer and producer of the Covishield vaccine.
Confirmed cases are higher than ever before during this pandemic.
826,000 daily cases were reported on average in the last 7 days.
SII currently produces about 70 million doses a month but is looking to increase its capacity to 100 million after receiving government funding. On Sunday, the United States announced the "immediate" shipment of active ingredients to manufacture vaccines, the export of which it had previously blocked.
Vaccination of the majority of the population could also become complicated because Prime Minister Narendra Modi's administration announced the liberalization of vaccine prices from May 1.
Health Minister Harsh Vardhan stated that price liberalization will allow "those who can afford it" to get vaccinated quickly. Nevertheless, he vowed that the Federal government will continue to provide the rest of the population with free vaccines.