50 MILLION does of AstraZeneca vaccines are said to be ready in India ahead of a “colossal” rollout of the country’s vaccination plan.
The Indian Government has authorised the use of two vaccines that require uninterrupted cold storage: Covishield, from AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford; and Covaxin, from the Indian laboratory Bharat Biotech. To guarantee the cold chain, 29,000 temperature-controlled storage points will be mobilised, almost 300 cold rooms, 45,000 cold rooms, 41,000 freezers and 300 refrigerators that use solar energy.
The world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, Serum Institute of India (SII), claimed to have already produced 50 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and plans to accelerate its production to reach 100 million injectables per month by March.
The news comes as India, the second-most populous country in the world, prepares the start of its colossal vaccination campaign to immunise 300 million people – almost the equivalent of the population of the United States – before July, as part of one of the largest vaccination campaigns on the planet.
India plans to begin vaccinating its 1.3 billion people on Saturday, a colossal task that faces security challenges, uncertain infrastructure and scepticism from the population.
After the United States, India is the second country most affected by the coronavirus with more than 10 million confirmed cases, although the death rate is one of the lowest in the world. The 30 million medical workers and those most exposed to the disease will be the first to be vaccinated, followed by people over 50 or at risk.
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