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Vaccines running low in India

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The COVID-19 vaccination plan in India has grown to include all people aged 18 and over, but many states are running low on jabs.

Video Transcript

ALEX CRAWFORD: India's second wave just keeps on getting worse. Oxygen still in short supply. The hospitals around the country are overwhelmed.

The numbers of dead are rising. And now they've run out of vaccines. They queued in their hundreds to try to get inoculated. This was Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh. Many states simply said they just didn't have enough and suspended the program.


ALEX CRAWFORD: This was a rare sight in the Indian capital, a vaccination center with some stock to the relief of those who had booked. You feeling excited? Tell me how, why?

SAKSHI KUMAR: Because so-- we've already-- me and my family, we already had COVID. So now I think this is going to be a good thing so that we don't get infected again.

ALEX CRAWFORD: This was meant to be the big rollout, vaccinations for all 18 years and older. But like so much to do with India's coronavirus crisis, the government seems to have got it wrong and didn't appreciate its huge domestic demand. Fewer than 2% of India's population have been fully inoculated whilst nearly 70 million doses have been sent overseas since January. That would easily have been enough to inoculate the whole of Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata.

And it's not just vaccines the country's short of. Its all medicines used to treat the virus. Do you have any remdesivir for coronavirus? Do you have any of the medicines?

- No.

ALEX CRAWFORD: Have you got remdesivir?

- Not available.

ALEX CRAWFORD: Not available. All out of stock.

- [INAUDIBLE] There's no availability on any [INAUDIBLE].

ALEX CRAWFORD: Because they're out of stock?

- Because of out of stock, because of low production, because of there more-- many more circumstance [INAUDIBLE].

ALEX CRAWFORD: The Indian prime minister was praying at a Sikh temple days after his government had ordered the mass vaccination, as well as reassured the nation that the acute shortage of oxygen was being sorted. But a few miles away from the temple, we saw evidence to the contrary. The cues are getting longer.

The backlog is getting bigger. And the crisis shows no sign of letting up. Delhi high court judges have now stepped in, ordering the government to ensure the capital gets adequate oxygen as yet more hospitals said they'd run out and patients had died.

- When the cases started rising up, I thought the government had a plan. But it turns out, they didn't. Within the first weekend, I understood that the governments have no idea.

They're not prepared for anything. We don't have enough ventilators in one hospital. Forget about all the-- whatever we need for the entire city or the entire nation.

ALEX CRAWFORD: India is very much in the eye of the COVID tornado. And little is happening to stop it rampaging through the country at a dizzying speed. Alex Crawford, Sky News, Delhi.