India moves fastest to stock up on Covid-19 vaccines  

The last two months of the year 2020 have brought a much-needed hope in an otherwise grim and painful year. While every country is desperately looking for a vaccine to achieve herd immunity, India is among the top countries that have secured the highest doses of vaccine as of November 30, recent data shows.

According to the calculation of Duke University’s global health innovation centre, India has secured 1.6 billion doses of the coronavirus vaccine followed by the EU with 1.58 billion doses. The US government has confirmed nearly 1.01 billion doses of Covid-19 potential vaccine.

According to a Credit Suisse estimate, India needs about 1.7 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses to vaccinate the majority of its adult population.

Data shows that the key vaccine India is banking on is Novavax. The country has managed the maximum dose of Novavax vaccine (One billion doses) while dealing with Oxford-AstraZeneca for half a billion. India has also managed to secure nearly 10 million doses of Gamaleya Research Institute’s vaccine Sputnik-V.

None of the potential up vaccines has been approved for use. Confirmed purchases cover 7.1 billion doses, with another 2.6 billion doses currently under negotiation or reserved as optional expansions of existing deals.

“With limited purchasing power, middle-income countries are using other strategies to get to the front of the queue for advance market commitments. Countries with manufacturing capacity, such as India and Brazil, have been successful in negotiating large advance market commitments with leading vaccine candidates as part of the manufacturing agreements,” Duke centre explains the reason behind the high procurement.

The Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine is in high demand with nearly 2.5 billion doses secured followed by Novavax (1.32 billion), Sanofi-GSK (0.73 billion), Pfizer (0.65 billion) and Moderna (0.38 billion). According to Duke Centre, Gamaleya Research Institute’s vaccine’s confirmed purchases has registered about 30 billion doses.

Duke University’s global health innovation centre has started mapping Covid-19 vaccine pre-purchase deals across the world under the ‘Launch and Scale Speedometer’ project. The centre, backed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has collected and analysed publicly available data on vaccine procurement and manufacturing.

“We developed a data framework of relevant variables and conducted desk research of publicly available information to identify Covid vaccine candidates and status, deals and ongoing negotiations for procurement and manufacturing, Covid burden by country, and allocation and distribution plans”.

The data shows several countries are in the race to secure as many doses as possible. High-income countries currently hold a confirmed 3.8 billion doses, upper-middle-income countries have obtained 829 million doses and lower-middle-income nations contain more than 1.7 billion doses.

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