Policy Engagements and Blogs

India Speak Episode 6: Unpacking India’s COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy

Yamini Aiyar

July 2, 2021


India embarked on its COVID-19 vaccination roll-out in early January prior to the second wave. In this episode of India Speak, Yamini Aiyar (President and Chief Executive, CPR) speaks to Partha Mukhopadhyay (Senior Fellow, CPR) to discuss India’s vaccine policy and guide us through the many bottlenecks, confusions, and successes we have encountered in the last few months. Why didn’t India start vaccinating earlier? How did the policy evolve once the second wave hit?

Mukhopadhyay who has been closely tracking the vaccine policy walks us through the different phases of the vaccine strategy across the country. He sheds light on the many inequities of the policy, the state of private supply, the role of the Supreme Court, the Centre-State dynamic and more. He further discusses how the digital inequity was built in with the CoWIN app from an economic, linguistic, and spatial standpoint. Finally, Mukhopadhyay share’s his perspective of where we are today vis-a-vis our goals on achieving universal vaccination.

About the Series

The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic poses serious challenges that need immediate attention. The collapse of an already strained health system, vaccine supply shortage, an unprecedented economic crisis and sharpening inequality, are factors that raise crucial concerns. How must India confront this crisis? The Centre for Policy Research (CPR) brings leading experts to discuss what the country’s response should look like in a new podcast series, India and the Pandemic.