Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. World
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?]

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

Content from our partners
How do we secure the hybrid office?
How materials innovation can help achieve net zero and level-up the UK
Fantastic mental well-being strategies and where to find them