DAA Daily

How India’s Vaccine drive went wrong

By: Jenna Zuraiki, Features editor, The Pawprint 

It took 31-year-old Sneha Marathe half a day to book an appointment online to get the vaccine. Sneha says, “It was a game of ‘fastest finger first,” she says. “The slots filled up in three seconds.” Once she booked she waited for her appointment, but it later got canceled last minute, because they had no more vaccines. She later tried to book another appointment. 

To get vaccinated, all 18 to 44-year-olds in India have to register on the government’s CoWin website. With demands for vaccinations, Indians with exceptional technical skills are even writing codes to get their hands on those appointments. 

Ms. Marathe doesn’t know how to code, but she is one of the millions of Indians who do not have access or the knowhow to book online. Hundreds of millions who do not have access to smartphones or the internet, which is actually the only way to get a vaccination.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s federal government has made vaccines available to 960 million Indians, despite a shortage of more than 1.8 billion doses.

This severe shortage comes in the middle of a deadly second Covid wave and warnings of a third wave too. 

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