In a nation of inequalities, India's vaccine strategy is bad economics

Free, universal access to inoculation could prepare India better for a third Covid-19 resurgence.

Andy Mukherjee | Bloomberg Opinion
Coronavirus, vaccine, covid, drugs, vaccination, innoculation

After a tightly centralized vaccination drive that has delivered the required two shots to less than 2% of the population, India is opening up its inoculation strategy in the middle of a raging pandemic. Can the new approach flatten the curve?
Expanding the campaign to all adults below 45 starting next month is a late but welcome move. India’s daily infection rate of almost 350,000 is the worst any country has experienced. Even then, shifting a big part of the financial burden to 28 state governments and letting private hospitals buy shots at 600 to 1200 rupees ($8 to $16) apiece--and sell them to patients at even higher prices--are both wrong.
In a nation riddled with inequalities and swelling with 75 million newly impoverished after last year’s coronavirus lockdown, putting a price on any part of limited vaccine supplies could lead to unjust, lopsided distribution. Free, universal access, with New Delhi negotiating prices with at

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First Published: Apr 27 2021 | 7:28 AM IST

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