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27 April 2021updated 28 Aug 2021 9:26pm

Why India desperately needs more Covid-19 vaccines

India is struggling with a lethal second wave and only 9 per cent of its population has received at least one vaccine.

By Nicu Calcea

India is struggling to meet its Covid-19 vaccination goals, despite being one of the world’s leading manufacturers. Just 120 million people, or 8.7 per cent of its population, had received one vaccine by 26 April. Just 1.6 per cent have been fully vaccinated.


The country is contending with a lethal second wave after new daily cases exceeded 350,000 and deaths rose above 2,700. The UK has pledged to send 600 pieces of medical equipment to India, including ventilators and oxygen concentrators, but has, at the time of writing, promised no vaccines. The US, however, has pledged to provide raw materials for Indian vaccine manufacturers and is expected to include India in a planned export of 60 million AstraZeneca doses to other countries. 

There have been more than three million deaths from Covid-19 worldwide, nearly 200,000 of which were in India. 

[See also: International coronavirus vaccine tracker: how many people have been vaccinated?]

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