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Vaccine shortage will last for over 2 months, says National COVID-19 task force's Dr NK Arora

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The biggest question in the fight against the coronavirus second wave is the availability or supply of the vaccines. Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Dr NK Arora, Head of Operations Research Group of the National Task Force set up by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) discussed this.

The biggest question in the fight against the coronavirus second wave is the availability or supply of the vaccines. Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Dr NK Arora, Head of Operations Research Group of the National Task Force set up by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) discussed this.
According to Dr Arora, it will take 2-3 months before the vaccine supply really picks up.
“We must understand there is vaccine shortage for at least next two to two and a half months and before full steam vaccination for young people can take off,” he said.
India has administered almost 18 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses so far, with four crore people, or just a little over three percent of the population fully vaccinated with two doses. In the 18 to 44 year age group, less than forty lakh people have received their first jabs, with vaccine shortage slowing down the vaccination drive.
Amidst the shortage and with no major uptick in supplies expected anytime soon, the government has decided to extend the interval between two doses of COVISHIELD from six to eight weeks to twelve to sixteen weeks.
The central government has said that from August onwards it expects a sharp uptick in production and availability of COVID-19 vaccines, with over 200 crore doses likely to be supplied between August and December. Of these, the largest share of 75 crore is expected to continue to come in from Serum Institute, and 55 crore doses are expected to come in of COVAXIN of Bharat Biotech - most of the other vaccines that the government is pinning its hopes on are still in various stages of trials.
Looking at the short term supply picture - according to the latest data released by the central government, between May 16 and May 31, it will supply 1.92 crore vaccine doses to states and union territories from the central quota. This will include 1.63 crore COVISHIELD doses and 29 lakh COVAXIN doses.
For the entire discussion, watch the accompanying video

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