Supply Chain Challenges for Covid-19 Vaccine Delivery in India

1. Logistics and Management

As of today, there are 154 candidate vaccines in pre-clinical trials, 21 in Phase-1 trials (Small-scalesafety trials), 12 in Phase-2 trials (Expanded safety-trials) and 11 in the path of approval across the globe. Not to forget, Russia’s first registered vaccine against the virus – Sputnik V. Even India has over a dozen of companies working on the vaccines out of which Covaxin developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with ICMR, is in its final stages and is highly anticipated. With so many possibilities, pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors need to ensure continuity in vaccine development and delivery to meet the market demand. The following table talks about the potential vaccines being manufactured in India.

2. Availability and Affordability

Once the vaccine is launched, availability and affordability will be a key challenge. We must consider
the possibility of a private-public partnership to move this further, like in the case of polio vaccines.
There could be possible problems of irregular access to the vaccines, shortage in the supply, theft and
robbery, spike in pricing etc. which must be thought of beforehand. The vaccines must be suitably and
fairly priced for the lower income groups to be able to afford.

3. Manufacture and Production outreach

India has an upper hand in this criterion, since it has been manufacturing and exporting a significant
amount of vaccines and medicines of different kinds, globally. However, on the arrival of a potential
vaccine, manufacture and production has to be given a clear priority and must be upscaled, in order to
be prepared for the challenges of shortages like in the case of N95 masks.

4. Education and Outreach

Although vaccines are primarily important, it is not vital that everyone must be vaccinated at one
time. People with good immunity, free of ailments and high resilience are not particularly required to
be vaccinated. Healthcare workers, Senior citizens, people with health problems like diabetes, asthma,
coronary diseases etc. must be given first priority over the healthy population of the country, which
can be vaccinated at a later stage, if necessary.

Categories: Economy, Education, Services

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