Saturday, May 1, 2021

India’s New Vaccine Strategy Is Bad Economics

 Putting a price on shots could lead to unjust, lopsided distribution. The cost to the consumer should be zero.

Compare China to India on both the economy and covid.

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 least four or five suppliers globally, could prepare India better for a third Covid-19 resurgence. Until herd immunity is achieved, private hospitals must continue acting as agents of the state, and impose only a limited markup on the stock they’re given free from the national pool.


1 comment:

Peter Pan said...

Makes no sense if there is a shortage of vaccine.

With a shortage, strategy is to ration; and only to those who are most vulnerable to the virus.