March 11, 2021
At the end of February, India had completed about 14 million vaccinations—much less than the 30 million planned. The shortfall is due to vaccination hesitancy among health care workers and problems with Co-WIN, the digital tool enabling the drive. The last week of February also saw a sudden surge in cases in four states, with people sidestepping established protocols of masking and social distancing. The renewed threat of another wave of infections is a reminder that until most of the country has been vaccinated, the pandemic will remain a potent threat to health and the economy. On March 1st, the government started the next phase of vaccinations, which includes those over 60 years age, as well as those 45 years and above with co-morbidities. In addition to free shots at government hospitals, private hospitals have also been allowed to give the vaccination at a nominal cost of Rs 250 ($3.00) per dose.