Well even those in their 70’s have gone back to their earliest memories and surfaced back from their long drawn memory lane with an ‘Ah, Alas, OMG’, to express the effect Corona Pandemic has done to the entire world’s economy.
Preventive or Curative was the trending discussion at the initial start of this Pandemic which very soon jumped to the big question “who will make the Covid Vaccine” & when few intellectuals moved onto the Vaccine
invention, we started chattering “when will we receive the Vaccine” and this curious mind never stops the chatter. Now the next revolving chatter in my mind is, “How the Vaccination will be done for this massive population of 135 crore, when our Healthcare infrastructure is grappling on multiple fronts”. I am sure government & multiple other stakeholders are aggressively working on this front and we will have answers to this as well in time to come.
One thing is sure that the Vaccine is going to there in due course thereby resting part of our curious mind and allows a new thought to ponder on – The Vaccine Execution challenge that faces us big time now.
The Challenge Ahead
India is the world’s Vaccine capital wrt manufacturing as India manufactures world’s major share of Vaccine, does this mean that India will have the largest share available for it’s own use – well the answer is No. The Indian Vaccine manufacturers are having global contracts in place with commitments of providing majority Vaccine to foreign countries.
When it comes to India, we are heading for a 135 Crore population outreach for Vaccination, which of course doesn’t mean everyone will be vaccinated but still large population will need it. It just cannot be done in a single phase given the large volumes to be handled and that too when our production capacities won’t be able to meet the humungous demands. In simple terms, the Vaccination drive will consume entire 2021 and maybe beyond 2021 as well, before we can say that significant majority has been vaccinated.
Vaccine is a cold chain product which means that it cannot be stored like many medicines on a Pharmacy’s shelf, it needs certain cold controlled temperatures to ensure that Vaccines remains efficient and then it needs a trained Vaccine administrator which usually is a certified medical professional. These elements itself create gross challenges and raise questions of smooth Vaccination across the country in near visible timeline. To ensure that the Vaccination outreach is fastened, Government must look at creating collaborating opportunities with the Private Healthcare industry players. Healthcare in India is largely a self-pay market and private players have a significant majority when it comes to Healthcare infrastructure in the country. It will be prudent for the Government to start looking at Covid Vaccination as a joint responsibility along with the Private players instead of shouldering the entire burden at it’s own end.
Who pays for the Vaccine, government or consumers and when will I receive the vaccine; am I ahead in the queue or been pushed at the far end; is there a rationing policy in place, if yes, do I qualify – these are just few of the questions that every citizen of this country will have on it’s mind and soon government will be asked these & many more such questions around Vaccination. Before this becomes another political stunt, a quick turnaround from Government will be much needed on a clear road ahead.
About the Author:
Pankaj Sindhu is a passionate Health Entrepreneur having extensive experience of creating-scaling-exiting, ‘category defining’ start-ups in healthcare space. He is currently absorbed totally with his third start-up, WONDRx – again a category defining health start-up working towards aggregating the unorganized healthcare leading towards massive value enhancements across the stakeholders, along with his friend and co-founder Pankaj Agrawal. Pankaj Sindhu, Founder and CEO of VVP Healthcare Evolution Pvt Ltd (WONDRx) can be contacted on email@example.com