COVID-19: Why is vaccination drive collapsing in India?

Was Modi misled by babudom about India’s capacity to produce vaccines for its population or did he miscalculate?

Was Modi misled by babudom about India’s capacity to produce vaccines for its population or did he miscalculate?
Was Modi misled by babudom about India’s capacity to produce vaccines for its population or did he miscalculate?

India is facing an acute shortage and derailing of COVID-19 vaccination. On Saturday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has declared the closure of vaccination camps meant for the 18-44 age group due to shortages in vaccine supply. Karnataka resumed starting of vaccination on Saturday after it stopped on May 12. Many chief ministers are expressing concerns of imminent vaccine shortages and are temporarily stopping vaccination camps meant for the 18-44 age category. Why did this happen? It is due to mismanagement and lack of planning of vaccine production in India, having a population of more than 136 crores, of which more than 95 crores are above 18 years.

As of today (May 22, 2021), India has administered 18.8 crore vaccine doses and out of this 4.13 crore people got full vaccination of 2 doses. 4.13 crores represent just 3 per cent of the population of India. After India opened vaccination for the 18-44 age category, many complaints started on the non-availability of vaccines and even the registration on website Cowin could not book a slot timing for vaccination, except providing registration. Many also got cancellation messages of the allotted slots.

The Government of India would have allowed other firms in India to make a tie-up with India’s own Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin to roll out in January 2021 itself.

Meanwhile, Supreme Court has already said that kids above 12 years should be vaccinated before the third wave. That adds another 20 crores of people to be on the vaccination radar. When is India going to be equipped?

Why all this chaos? The simple truth is that India is facing an acute shortage of vaccines. India gave sanction only to two companies, Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech only. The SII is producing the UK based Oxford Asta Zeneca’s Indian version Covishield and the company CEO Adar Poonawalla has spoken many times about the acute shortage in production to meet India’s requirements. The SII was supplying around 85% of the production and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin 15%. Now many firms in India are allowed to produce Covaxin with a tie-up from Bharat Biotech and the Government of India has now allowed the import of Sputnik, Pfizer, J&J etc. When these imported vaccines will be rolled out to the masses an open question.

Many states have also started inviting global tenders. These procedures will come to a logical conclusion only by July or August. Actually, the Government of India would have allowed other firms in India to make a tie-up with India’s own Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin to roll out in January 2021 itself. As Bharat Biotech is a fully Indian company, no patent issues would have come, if the Government of India used its might or powers. But that did not happen. At the end of April, only a few firms, starting with the Maharashtra Government’s Haffkine Institute, got approval to produce Covaxin. This shows that Modi Government delayed the decision on this aspect for more than four months.

Central Government also has vaccine producing units. To date, no Central Government’s vaccine companies are engaged in Covaxin production like Maharashtra Government’s Haffkine Institute. Is the bureaucracy showing its stunning ineptness again?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is now facing an all-out criticism for his pompous PR show of exporting 6.8 crore vaccine doses to 86 countries when India had hardly vaccinated just one per cent of the population. These things happen when bureaucracy does not advise its political masters properly or if political masters fail to read between the lines of the praises of the dubious coterie surrounding him.

India is still conducting vaccinations through website (Cowin) registration. This website registration is ineffective in rural areas or poor people. As per the government’s own claim they have distributed free rations to 85 crore people. Is the government expecting poor people to register through a website or smartphone? There must be area-wise vaccination camps and an effort to educate people to come to vaccination centres.

We are a team of focused individuals with expertise in at least one of the following fields viz. Journalism, Technology, Economics, Politics, Sports & Business. We are factual, accurate and unbiased.
Team PGurus


  1. People, especially educated people, do need to calm down.

    This situation is akin to a full-blown war.

    No one can know when the enemy will attack. The enemy has the element of surprise.

    The current government under Mr. Modi has handled the matter quite well.

    The 1st wave was brought under control.

    In March 2021 The hospital wards were empty of Covid patients.

    The April attack was a shock,

    It has been much more vicious compared to the 1st

    Keep in mind too that the Chinese had attacked on our border with Tibet last year and the attack continues.

    The 2nd wave has dome much damage to old and young.

    Added to that we have Black fungus, white fungus etc.

    People are also dying due to a fever that strikes, with chills and the person does not recover.

    At the same time in U.P and Uttarkhand, it is now under control. the cases have dropped dramatically.

    The covid wards are now less than 15 % occupied and those will also be released soon.

    We have lost a lot of our loved ones.

    The loss cannot be recovered.

    Our domestic vaccine production has been is being ramped up, despite the blockages by US and European governments.

    We will in a few months be producing over 12 billion doses per year.

    These are locally developed vaccines.

    This despite the bad-mouthing and propaganda against our Indigenous medical therapies of Ayurveda and Homeopathy.

    The blackmail attempts by US corporations has failed, despite the best efforts of soem corrupt political parties.

    We will overcome.

    Keep your spirits up.

    The Sky has not fallen

  2. This is ill thought article written in gush of blood, trying to mix up the past and present not realizing that trajectory of actions is based on circumstances and data at hand, PGURUS need to hire better journalists or at least who can think straight I understand to extent that some of you guys are free lancers but still you can find better ppl do not form coterie and get sucked in black hole [loss of talent or ability to think out of the box]. This article seems someone wants to vent out personal anger against prime minister someone from Godavari belt I guess if not from left.

    This is a classic news article for media back home, there are so many in actualities mentioned I don’t know which one to highlight, if this article is written by sree iyer or whoever it is they should humbly put their name down, things happen.
    Coming back to article, I would request to PGURUS team to go through this video released on 30-Apr-2021 which explains to an extent as what could have let to current scenario with chronology order Amit Sengupta [youtuber] has shared his opinion which I tend to agree with. We all agree there have been lapses from Govt but not in a way you have explained.

    Hope to see better articles in future.


    • PSY ji, you are entitled to have your valuable views. I would have felt happy had you let me also know your full name first. I happen to watch Amit Sengupta’s video viewed by326, 546 only as on date and the link you have also shared. Thanks. Amit defended the indefensible Government working opaquely for seven years now. Even BJP spokespersons failed to defend its Government on pandemic!

      Pgurus might have hurriedly concluded its write up. Pgurus Team members are not thumb suckers! Look at Sree Iyer’s NDTV Scam reporting and publishing a book too! None in India revealed it but only to be ignored by the RSS/BJP lead NDA majboot sarkar for seven cool years? The same anti-national corrupt media with its leftists mafia have now become brahma-rakshasas with WaPo, NYT, resident non-Indian journalists to name a few have been defaming PM Modi on China virus!! Sobbing in Parliament or in public is not the remedy! PM should have agreed for PMCares CAG Audits to avoid controversies. Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Omniscient Governance style is of no use at the backdrop of bloated egos prevailing among family based State Governments in the country and PMO itself.

      PSY ji, after reading your valuable opinion and Amit Sengupta above said video script too, I felt that PM Modi should have declared “National Health Emergency” knowing fully well that badly managed State Governments in the country, few jealous developed nations, two rogue nations around our neck, instead of taking the entire blame upon him! Of course PM takes credit alone too! Why BJP/RSS try to polarize “victimised PM Modi alone” theme instead of taking brave and bold decisions on wrong doers? Why take pot shots at Pgurus write ups or other media?

      In Pgurus we share our views, opinions and sarcasms because experienced intellects are being insulted resulting in poor governance of our PM sporting beard which reveals his many worries on China occupation of little chunks of our lands under his regime ( Nehru Gandhi’s based Congress-I MOU with China 2024 game plan with Twitter/FB), bad economy and his personal average fatigue health! We pray for his good health.

      It is true Manasa, Vacha & karmana – Trikaranasuddhi is lacking in majority of our Print and Visual/digital media in the interest of our nation building and becoming one of the pillars!

      BJP’s inherited “rotten system’ comments hold no water anymore now! A bad works smith blames his tools!

  3. There are more issues than what meets the eye and they boil down to the nitty-gritty of vaccine manufacturing.
    (1) Covaxin is more difficult to manufacture due to it being an inactivated virus. Without BSL-3/4 facilities you simply cannot ramp up supply overnight.
    (2) Manufacturers all over the world are facing issues in adenovirus production. Hence nameplate capacities don’t matter until and unless viral culture reproduces in large enough amounts to supply the machinery that bottles and packages the vials. Johnson and Johnson in Europe are struggling so hard that the EU finally gave up and went for Pfizer. Sputnik V similarly faced so many issues that they are actually coming to Dr. Reddy’s for assistance.
    (3) Central govt vaccine manufacturing units are also producing other life-saving vaccines such as DPT/mumps/polio/rabies. Shifting production from these to Covid-19 vaccines means other consequences and deaths. So the Govt. probably played a balancing act in the early months of 2021.
    (4) Everyone in the world is trying to ramp up vaccine manufacturing facilities. The manufacturers of the specific equipment needed for such facilities are primarily in the USA/EU/China. So it is not just raw materials for vaccine manufacturing that is needed, but also specialized equipment to expand an existing manufacturing facility.
    (5) Given the latest research findings that 2nd doses of Covishield can be given after 16 weeks, the states should prioritize 1st doses so as to cover a larger population with a basic level of immunity. However, from the behavior of the states, it looks like they are prioritizing 2nd dosages when they should be doing the opposite.

    • Rahul Ji, the GOI fell between two stools.
      GOI did not do a balancing act during early 2021 as you have assumed!
      BJP lead NDA Govt failed to manage “headlines” and the ” governance” has been found missing.

  4. india is IT Super – cannot make a decent app for vaccination registration & tracking. What a tragedy or hyped national status ? What are the IT companies doing ? Selling garbage software ?

  5. You have conveniently or deliberately avoided mentioning shortage of raw materials and consumables, which were banned by Biden.
    The supply chain has been broken for both SII and BB as pointed out by Poonawala openly, two months ago. Even after Biden announcing easing restrictions, the materials are yet to land here.

  6. This is easy enough to diagnose. Five reasons: Health system, Politicians, Bureaucrats, Judges, Police. India’s Colonial legacy exercises power over the serfs through scarcity and redistribution of wealth and opportunity.

  7. Govt allowed manufactures to fix the price is the biggest blunder. Now private corporates are charging as high as 2000 for one dose of vaccination.

    Transperancy is allotment of vaccines in missing

  8. Pgurus: It appears like you have censored my calibrated comment to an offensive reply. Had you not allowed that offensive reply, I would not have to reply in-kind just to prevent such comments in the future and encourage thoughtful discussions. It is unfortunate that you have acted in a partisan manner and I don’t think I can support such news portals. Adeius!

    • The above was a private message of disapproval. Publishing this when the there is no indication to any reader that a message had been censored is not ethical. If you have any sense of decency, you would either remove my private message or publish my censored comment. Let the readers decide for themselves.

  9. Modi has become Rip Van Winkle

    His beard suits his character

    Maybe he is scared to look at his own face in the mirror too !

  10. Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute would have produced larger quantities had they been allowed to charge more realistic price for their vaccine. Govt has capped the prices at unrealistically low level making it unviable to ramp up production by the manufacturers.

  11. Modi messed up by keeping all decision making powers with him. Covid Pandemic decisions messed up by him. Now he is not even trimming his beard. Modi must change his meglomanic style of working and discuss at with his party colleagues and cabinet colleagues in taking crucial decisions.

  12. “Pompous PR Show?” – C’mon!! SEI has contractual obligation with COVAX to provide Covishield. WHO just excoriated SEI for delay in supplying and reminded SEI about supplying 190 million by June 2021. What is lost in this fog of unfair criticism is realism. No one knows what is the real production capacity of SEI and Bharat Biotech. Some reports claim 50-70 million Covid shield and 12.5 covaxin per month. Assuming an average total of 75 million per month, these would have produced a total of 375 million over five months. 190 million does given in India + 70 million exported = 260 million. How much is currently in States’ possession is unknown. US with use of full production capacity of Pfizer and Moderna has just vaccinated 290 million (one or two does). As Dr. Jaishankar noted, if India is dependent on global supply chains to manufacture vaccines for its as well as global use, it would be suicidal to claim that it would first take care of its population before supplying Covid shield to others; hence this article criticizing supply of vaccines to other nations does not make sense. With regards to govt. getting involved in production, etc., is this article suggesting that India get back into its old ways, trampling the rights of private enterprises? If there is shortfall in procurement, certainly GOI can be held to account. But, given current production capacity vs the vaccination numbers, it is premature to accuse the GOI on this.

      • Don’t be Modi-agnostic. Join the Modi Bhajan Mandali and try daily/weekly/monthly bhajans. Rewards are aplenty – you may even have clarity of clarify of thought and start indulging in rational argument.

  13. BJP lead NDA Govt thought that it can import Vaccines from China similar to our markets flooded with crores of plastic materials, telecom products, Diwali crackers, wooden furniture and even Noodles to name a few, made in China imported directly into China Bazars in our country for 25 years now! Indigenous plastic materials manufacturers closed their Units!

    Now that we need nearly 200 crores vaccines and if China is given a chance (God forbid), they will ship them coolly in two months!! The way they swallowed their pride for thirty years ago until 2012 paid international dividends and now they are dictating terms to whole world!

    What happened to our Health Advisor VK Paul, Scientific Advisor Vijaya Raghavan who was involved in taking Tata group with a Chinese researcher on Bats to Nagaland and Niti Ayog smart guys forgot to estimate requirement of vaccines and failed to count migrant laborers similar to our the then planning commission members planned poverty in just 53 years!

    Failure of State and Central health ministries are appalling but it is not good to make Central Health Minister alone a scape goat! Our comatose bureaucrats failed to tell our PM that his counter part former US President Trump financed Vaccine production in his country with advance payments and entered into MOUs with four manufacturers under America First and MAGA practical slogan and see Biden Harris’ comforts levels now!

    Its unfortunate that the PM of our nation made his office as the nodal agency taking decisions from manufacturing paper pins to rockets and hence States CMOs also followed him and created a royal mess and still messing around with global tenders!

    Let us hope at least for a new team at the Center otherwise China may start exporting pani puri, bhel puri, samosa, kachori, pakora, kheer and other 100 varieties of food products to India! Sorry to say this!

    Let RSS throw out their full pants and go back to wear their half pants and re-discover their original RSS culture! Otherwise RSS will remain with half minds serving only two confused and tired leaders may be defeated in 2024! Sorry to say this again!

  14. Modi govt dumbness & mumbness on all key issues & BJP leaders are rudderless. No worthy brains in BJP other than high decibel shouting Jai Shriram. No worthy policies on any subject, yet so many minsters & ministries – all useless.

  15. This CO-WIN website registration is useless. In March 2021 I registered for my wife’s vaccination. On the appointment day we went and found out that vaccination was suspended for that day & later we received SMS that vaccination appointment has been cancelled. I then got both of us registered for April 8th 2021. On that day we went to the vaccination center (ENT hospital, Visakhapatnam) and we received SMS that appointments were cancelled. However spot registration was done and we received 1st dose of vaccine there itself on that day. Later on I registered for 2nd dose for May 8th 2021. On May 1st we received SMS informing cancellation.

    I don’t know what to say. Running an administration to these unscrupulous POLITICIANS means CONTROLLING but not UPLIFTING PEOPLE’s lives. How different from China’s administrators. I don’t like China at all but see the difference.


  16. Chinese Covid pandemic is akin to an “Act of God”. In a Pandemic, actions of Govt will be more of a ‘reaction’ nature vis a vis ‘planned and prepared nature’. Sitting in the comfort of AC rooms it is very easy to be critical…. Difficulties, sufferings, uncertainties, loss of life and so on of a great magnitude are concomitant to a pandemic. It is NOT only the Govt but each individual who is responsible for his/her health and that of the collective to which they belong; in this we as a people have failed. NO POINT in being critical of the Union Govt. As regards KEJRIWAL, not worth commenting on what he has done/not done.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here