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Covid: How do you vaccinate a billion people?

Added 11-26-20 12:04:02am EST - “India's Covid-19 immunisation programme will face unprecedented challenges, say experts.” - News.yahoo.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From News.yahoo.com: “Covid: How do you vaccinate a billion people?”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

It runs a massive immunisation programme, makes 60% of the world's vaccines and is home to half a dozen major manufacturers, including Serum Institute of India - the largest in the world.

Not surprisingly, there's no lack of ambition when it comes to vaccinating a billion people against Covid-19. India plans to receive and utilise some 500 million doses of vaccines against the disease and immunise up to 250 million people by July next year.

This confidence is bolstered by its track record of immunising large numbers of people every year. India's 42-year-old immunisation programme, one of the world's largest health programmes, targets 55 million people - mainly newborns and pregnant women who receive some 390 million free doses of vaccines against a dozen diseases every year. The country also has a well-oiled electronic system to stock and track these vaccines.

Yet vaccinating a billion people, including hundreds of millions of adults for the first time, against Covid-19 is going to be a daunting and unprecedented challenge, say experts.

Five of the 30 vaccine candidates being developed in India are in clinical trials. They include the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine which is being tested by Serum and a home-grown one being developed by Bharat BioTech. "Having a home-grown vaccine is a top priority," Dr Renu Swarup, secretary of India's Department of Biotechnology, told me.

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