A necessary reversion: On going back to centralised procurement of vaccines

The changes in vaccine policy should help improve India’s response to the pandemic

Though there are substantial numbers of senior citizens yet to be vaccinated, particularly with a second dose, it is clear that the foreseeable demand will be in the sub-45 category. The Government appears more confident of getting a steady stream of supply from Bharat Biotech and the Serum Institute and, in a bold move, has ordered 30 crore doses of an untested vaccine from the Hyderabad-based Biological E. Assuming that a third wave is not in the vicinity, these changes in total could be the beginning of a smoother, more efficient vaccine roll-out. Mr. Modi’s announcement was preceded by a truculent defence of himself and his government and passing on blame to a variety of actors, including governments before 2014, for India’s very real shortcomings on vaccination. However, the path to positive change is often meandering, and surviving the pandemic and being wiser from mistakes must be the spirit in which these policy changes are adopted.

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