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India trails EMs on booster jabs even as covid cases rise

Even neighbours Pakistan and Bangladesh have fared better at a time the World Health Organization warned that the pandemic ‘is far from over’, with a fresh spike in new covid cases seen in 110 countries India lags far behind its developing-country rivals in the covid-19 booster vaccination race, even as cases have seen a steady uptick in the past fortnight. The poor show comes even as the country started its ‘precaution’ dose inoculation drive around the same time as some of the other countries, shows a Mint analysis. For every 1,000 people, India has managed to administer just 32 boosters, i.e.

merely 3% of the population. A look at the same figure for comparable emerging markets (EMs) shows the extent of the lag: China (547 doses), Brazil (500 doses), Mexico (408 doses), Indonesia (175 doses) and the Philippines (132 doses) are way ahead of India. Even neighbours Pakistan and Bangladesh have fared better at a time the World Health Organization warned that the pandemic ‘is far from over’, with a fresh spike in new covid cases seen in 110 countries.

India’s high population isn’t the only reason behind the low per-capita coverage. In absolute numbers, India has given fewer booster doses (45 million) than China, Brazil, Mexico and Indonesia, while Bangladesh and Pakistan have already clocked more than half that count. “These numbers are nothing to be proud of," said T.

Jacob John, a former professor of clinical virology at Christian Medical College, Vellore. A key point to note here is that most countries that were part of the analysis began their booster campaigns between October and December 2021. However, India administered its first booster shot on 10 January this year and by 10 April, had expanded the eligibility to

. pandemic vaccine Health
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