Covid-19 cases are rising at a record speed in India. Vaccination drive is also going on in the country. But the thing that causes a big concern is Politics over vaccine. Internationally and Domestically, politics over vaccines is going on rather than joining hands together to fight Covid-19.
Adar Poonawalla of Serum Institute of India, said that they have just left with supplies of 5 days of vaccine, at current vaccination rate. It is due to the blockage in supplies of raw material for vaccines production by America and France.
Maharashtra and Punjab said few days back that, their vaccine stocks are running out. They need vaccine to control Covid-19. One the other hand, Central government accuses them of ineffective governance to control rising cases.
Let’s know about what politics is going on behind the Covid vaccines internationally and domestically. And what solutions we need today?
Vaccine shortage in India
In India, more than 1.50 lakh Covid cases are being reported everyday and around 40% cases are coming from Maharashtra. This way, Maharashtra needs the vaccine in huge quantity. But few days ago, they were running out of vaccine stocks. Even many vaccination centres get closed due to vaccine unavailability. Other states also reported less stocks of vaccine.
Maharashtra government accuses Central government that they are allocating higher doses to BJP led states. On the other hand, Central government accuses them of not doing effective administration to control Covid cases.
Both the statements are true if we see numbers and facts. Recently Central government, allocated 3.5 crore vaccines. Out of which Maharashtra got only 17.43 lakh, even after having 40% cases. On the other hand, UP got 44.98 lakh doses, which have around 10% of daily cases. So why government is not allocating vaccines on the basis of Covid cases being reported from a state?
Vaccine works in a body after 2 weeks of taking 2nd dose. So if Maharashtra, where situation is out of control, have enough vaccination supply, then only after 4 weeks, Covid numbers will decrease their. So, it is important to control rising cases by effective governance.
Vaccine Politics by USA
On 5 March, Adar Poonawalla raised issue that America is blocking the raw material require for vaccine production. Actually, when Joe Biden became President, he said that within 100 days of his administration, 100 million vaccine should be used in USA. To achieve this target, they invoke ‘Defence Production Act‘.
This act had negative impact on vaccines producers globally as USA can now block raw material and supplies for it’s own consumption. With this act, the supply of following items reduced gloabbly.
- Bioreactor Bags
- Single-Use Systems
- Cell culture Media(Upstream) filters
- Gamma sterilisation
- Vials (Fill and finish)
This act by USA, made supply of vaccines to slow down all over the world. Many other developed nations also contributed to the vaccine shortage as they pre-ordered vaccines in more numbers than their requirement. Developed nations have 16% of world population but they had already pre-ordered 60% of vaccines. For example, Canada pre-ordered so much vaccines that can vaccinate it’s population for 5 times.
Politics by Vaccine Manufacturers
It’s not just countries that are indulged in vaccine politics, vaccine producing companies are also in the race. Pfizer vaccine is very popular in developed countries and has high demand. But, it did something very unusual when Argentina tried to bring it’s vaccine in their country.
Pfizer clearly said to Argentina government that in future if anyone sues their vaccine, then government has to bear the costs. Argentina government asked for Pfizer’s responsibility if the fault is from their side and if anyone loses their life. After this, Pfizer asked Argentina to mortgage it’s military bases, bank reserves and embassy buildings for any future losses.
During this pandemic time, Pfizer’s stance is very wrong and they kind of tried to bully a nation.
Solutions are always available for any problem. So same with vaccine problem and politics on it. To meet, domestic demand, government should allocate funds to vaccine manufacturers. Like, Adar Poonawalla said that government should provide grant of ₹3,000 Crore to boost vaccine capacity.
On the international level, Vaccine patents should be waive off to fight with Corona Virus. India and South Africa jointly proposed this to WTO, but no developed country supported the proposal. But now, USA is willing to support the proposal. If this proposal, gets support from majority nations, then vaccine shortage will be no more.
Also, if all vaccine manufacturers come together, then they can produce 14 billion doses collectively. This number of vaccines can vaccinate our whole world population.
Thank you for reading!