In DepthCOVID-19

India speeds up vaccinations as cases soar again

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Science  02 Apr 2021:
Vol. 372, Issue 6537, pp. 12-13
DOI: 10.1126/science.372.6537.12

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  • RE: Causality Between COVID-19 Cases and Vaccinations

    As of 9 April 2021, India had the third highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, behind the USA and Brazil, and the fourth highest number of deaths behind the USA, Brazil, and Mexico (

    Any perception that the pandemic was under control in India was shown to be an illusion with the onset of yet another new wave of cases and deaths, with a concentration in eight states, including  Maharashtra, which has India's commercial centre of Mumbai as the capital.

    With two approved vaccines, it might be perceived that vaccination might be widespread, but problematic supply chains issues have prevented the broad distribution across the nation.

    The direction of causality is generally regarded as being from vaccinations to total confirmed cases but, in the absence of widespread vaccinations, bivariate causality might be from total confirmed cases to vaccinations.

    Herd immunity might arise from a sufficiently high percentage of the population having recovered from infection, but the overall threshold at approximately 22% is nowhere near the estimated 80% that is required for the strategy to work.

    For this reason, a high percentage of the population needs to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity, if societal healthcare requirements such as personal hygiene, masking, social distancing, and contact tracing continue to be observed.

    The safety...

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    Competing Interests: I have no competing interests.
  • RE: Law of low Logistics in Indian vaccine drive
    • Nandakumar KS, Scientist, E-11, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore

    Vaishnavi Chandrashekhar has brought important concerns of covid-19 surge and vaccination in India. Like other countries, India too achieved a remarkable success in developing Covid-19 vaccines in partnership with Oxford-AstraZeneca and also in developing indigenous vaccines. India began vaccination to its medical and front line workers in Jan 16, 2021.It is well appreciated India has supplied vaccine to other countries. Although, acceleration of vaccine production by India exceeded the expectation with proactive decision by Serum Institute of India and others, the distribution and logistics planning of vaccination didn’t go well. There was a slumbering processing in vaccination drive and percentage of people getting vaccinated remains low. In 2020, many epidemiologists and mathematical model experts predicted there could be surge in Covid-19 in India in April 2021. Government agencies could have well planned certain effective strategic measures in vaccination drive in India so that public could have been easily accessible to vaccination. Between first and booster shots, there is gap of about one month and ample time was available for scaling up the production level during this period. Some of the measure could have been place such as 1) once vaccine drive began for front line workers and medical fraternity, without losing days, vaccination could have begun in parallel for others with co-morbidities and people with 65 years or above 2) instead of setting age criteria...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.

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