All you need to know about India's COVID-19 vaccination drive

On May 1, India’s entire adult population, estimated at a staggering 842 million, will become eligible to take the COVID-19 vaccine. This will include those between the ages of 18 and 45 – the country’s largest age demographic.

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The vaccine rollout in India began in January 2021 in a phased manner, starting with frontline and healthcare workers to senior citizens with and without comorbidities.

Now, on May 1, India’s entire adult population, estimated at a staggering 842 million, will become eligible to take the COVID-19 vaccine. This will include those between the ages of 18 and 45 – the country’s largest age demographic. 

With the number of infections increasing rapidly, infrastructure stretched thin, and reports of shortages in the supply of the vaccine doing the rounds, what can one expect as the ‘world’s largest inoculation drive’ expands to every adult citizen? 

Raghavendra Prasad TS, Founder of Project StepOne, says that despite nearly four million vaccines being administered a day, the urgency of the situation requires that nearly three times that many doses need to be administered daily.

Project StepOne is a non-profit collective of over 7,000 doctors, which launched a National Covid Telemedicine Helpline, offering 24x7 access to healthcare experts free of cost.

With the initial vaccine hesitancy having come down because of the severity of the pandemic, Dr Harish Pillai, CEO of Aster India, Aster DM Healthcare, says that more people are coming forward and seeking vaccinations. 

From blood clots to infertility, and autism to body odour, the apprehensions range from seriously cautionary to comical.

The question now remains — Will the target of inoculating 250 million Indians be achieved by July 2021? 

Read more about how the Indian startup ecosystem is battling the second wave of COVID-19.

The Interview

Fear and anxiety during the second wave of COVID-19 have led to the spread of misinformation and myths. In the second session of 'Ask the Doc', Dr Ritesh Malik spoke about the importance of getting the COVID-19 vaccine as they help drastically reduce the chance of getting admitted to a hospital. He also highlighted the need to ensure proper vaccine behaviour at vaccination centres, as well as creating a bio bubble at home to stay away from the virus infection. Read more.

Editor’s Pick: Techie Tuesday

During her years at BITS Pilani, Shalini Eswaran had heard of Texas Instruments (TI), and soon it became her dream company. Although she started her career with ST Microelectronics, she quickly made her move to TI in a year as an entry-level Physical Design Engineer in the then newly formed MSP430 team. In the last 17 years, Shalini has explored the breadth and depth of her domain – from across Industrial, Automotive, and more recently, the IoT verticals – primarily in the MicroController segment (Embedded Processing). Read more.

Shalini Eswaran

Startup Spotlight

Gurugram-based O2 Cure innovates air purifier to neutralise coronavirus

The second wave of COVID-19 has put immense pressure on India’s healthcare system – choked hospitals are reeling under the shortage of oxygen and medicines, and the prices of oxygen cylinders, concentrators, and essential medicines have shot up on the black market. With experts saying that India’s mammoth second wave is yet to peak, preventive measures have taken the spotlight. Amidst this, Gurugram-based startup O2 Cure is offering its own weapon in the COVID-19 fight — an air purification device named Plug & Play that claims to neutralise the COVID-19 virus. Read more.

News & Updates

  • Amid the second COVID-19 wave, the US state of California will send life-saving oxygen supplies to India. Also, Singapore's two leading trade organisations have launched a new relief fund to support India in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Before you go, stay inspired with… 

“Of the millions of doses that have been administered, there are only single digits where people have needed instant emergency care. So, I think we just need to widen the scope and make it available at every pharmacy, every clinic, even go door to door. That’s the only way to do it,”

Dr Shuchin Bajaj, Founder-Director, Ujala-Cygnus Hospitals

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