Vaccination Timeline For 18 To 44-Year-Olds
A waiting area at a deserted Covid-19 vaccination center at the BKC Jumbo Covid Centre in Mumbai on May 12, 2021. India is running massively short of vaccines. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Vaccination Timeline For 18 To 44-Year-Olds

India has administered almost 18 crore vaccine doses as on May 13.

Most of these — 17.52 crore doses — have been procured by the centre for those above 45 years, healthcare and frontline workers. States have procured and administered 39.14 lakh doses to those between 18 and 44 years, even as vaccine supply has ebbed.

When it comes to India’s vaccine supply there’s only question that most of us want answered — when will our turn come?

The answer to that depends on three things — your age, profession and vaccine supply.

If you are above 45 years or a healthcare or frontline worker, BloombergQuint estimates that by mid-August or so, 22.13 crore people from among 30 crore of you will have received at least one jab.

How Long Will It Take For India To Vaccinate Those Above 45 Years?

If You Are 18-44 Years – Read This

The wait for this cohort is tougher to estimate. First, the data available as on May 13.

An estimated 60 crore people in India are between 18 and 44 years. That’s 120 crore vaccine doses required. So far, 39.14 lakh doses have been administered to this cohort, across 32 states.

Why is it moving so slowly?

  • It’s only on May 1 that those above 18 years became eligible for vaccination.
  • States were told on April 19 that starting May it was their job to vaccinate those between 18 and 44 years. (Centre vaccinates 45+ cohort)
  • Besides the short notice, the central government has imposed tough controls on state procurement of domestically produced vaccines — Covishield and Covaxin.
  • States and private hospitals are free to import vaccines approved by India’s drug authorities. But global supply is also short.

Also, the lack of central supplies has prompted some states to divert their own vaccine purchases for 18-44-year age group towards second doses of the older cohort. As a result, vaccination of the younger group is either on pause in some states or moving at snail’s pace in others.

As per May 13 vaccination data, 11 states had vaccinated over one lakh people between 18 and 44 years.

  • Maharashtra: 6,33,008
  • Rajasthan: 5,89,078
  • Delhi: 5,22,791
  • Gujarat: 4,18,995
  • Bihar: 4,02,327
  • Haryana: 3,83,159
  • Uttar Pradesh: 3,15,286
  • Assam: 1,47,108
  • Madhya Pradesh: 1,36,182
  • Odisha: 1,07,905
  • Karnataka: 1,03,033
The global vaccine supply picture. (Chart sourced from Unicef dashboard)
The global vaccine supply picture. (Chart sourced from Unicef dashboard)

Current Supply

It’s for this younger cohort that domestic capacity expansions and imported supplies become more critical. The central government had a headstart, placing its first order in January. States have only now started seeking supplies — domestic and imported.

The current total capacity of the two main local producers — Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech — is estimated at 8.5 crore doses, rising to 16.7 crore in July with the addition of Sputnik V supply, as per the centre’s affidavit filed in the Supreme Court.

Production Capacity: May & June

  • Serum Institute: 6.5 crore doses a month
  • Bharat Biotech: 2 crore doses a month

Production Capacity: July

  • Serum Institute: 10 crore doses a month
  • Bharat Biotech: 5.5 crore doses a month
  • Sputnik V: 1.2 crore

That’s an estimated total domestic production of 33.7 crore doses in May, June and July.
Of which the centre has ordered 17.68 crore doses, leaving states with 16 crore doses over these three months.
Of which 2 crore will come in May, as per the affidavit.

Imported vaccines will add to the supply, if and when available and approved. Several states and even Mumbai’s municipal corporation are in the process of issuing global tenders to procure vaccines. So far, only one imported vaccine, Sputnik V, has Emergency Use Authorisation in India.

To be clear, besides local production of Russia’s Sputnik V by five Indian firms, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories has an agreement to import a total 25 crore doses of the vaccine. The first batch arrived on May 1 and the soft launch of the vaccine has commenced in a limited pilot, the company said today in a filing with stock exchanges.

Details on specific supply quantities from Dr. Reddy’s over the next few months are not yet available.

Also read: Mumbai Seeks To Buy One Crore Vaccine Doses To Tackle Covid-19

So here’s how it stacks up till July for 18-44 year age group, based on local production.

 Vaccination Timeline For 18 To 44-Year-Olds

Given the extended gap between doses now recommended by the government (12-16 weeks), it’s likely that all 16 crore doses, if delivered on time, will be utilised as first jabs.

That suggests, by mid to end August, accounting for time taken for last mile delivery, of the total 60 crore people in this cohort it’s possible 16 crore people will have had one jab. Imported Sputnik V supply will boost those numbers as will any other imports that become available.

If you are in this cohort, you have an at least one-in-four chance of receiving your first jab by mid-August.

Future Supply Estimates

It’s expected that after July domestic vaccine production could increase significantly.

In a presentation on May 13, the Health Ministry claimed that over 200 crore doses may become available between August and December 2021 on account of expanded or new local capacities.

This is based on:

  • Further expansion of capacities at Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech to 15 crore and 11 crore doses per month, respectively.
  • The start of production at BioE.
  • Availability of larger quantities domestic production of Sputnik V.
  • Approval and production of Zydus Cadila’s vaccine that is currently under trials.
  • Approval of Novovax vaccine, which Serum Institute has the license to manufacture and may have stockpiled some quantity of.

If these additional supplies kick in, it’s only in the last quarter of the calendar year that a meaningful acceleration in vaccination of 18-44 year age group may occur. Or in 2022.

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