With a Covid-19 caseload that’s surpassed 10 million people, India is the world’s second worst-hit country by the coronavirus pandemic, trailing only the United States.
But it is aiming to lift itself out of the crisis in the coming months with a massive vaccination drive — covering in its first phase almost as many people as the entire U.S. population.
The government has identified 300 million people to receive the first doses of the vaccines. The priority group is made up of 30 million health care workers, policemen, soldiers and volunteers, and 270 million vulnerable people — mostly citizens above the age of 50 and 10 million others with serious comorbidities.
The producers of three leading coronavirus vaccine candidates have applied for emergency use authorization, and all of them require two doses to provide sufficient immunity. That adds up to a total of 600 million shots, and the government wants to complete the whole process by August.