Biocon chief Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw has compared the COVID-19 vaccination situation in the country to an arranged marriage. Mazumdar-Shaw, the executive chairperson of biotechnology major Biocon, in a lighter vein, compared the two while bringing out the confusion that currently prevails regarding the entire vaccination process.

Mazumdar-Shaw, the executive chairperson of biotechnology major Biocon, in a lighter vein compared the two while bringing out the confusion that currently prevails regarding the entire vaccination process.

“The vaccine situation in India is like arranged marriage. First u r not ready, then u don’t like any, then u don’t get any!! Those who are unhappy thinking maybe the other one would have been better. Those who did not get any are willing to get any one,” Mazumdar-Shaw tweeted on Saturday.

Earlier this week, Mazumdar-Shaw had expressed concern over the shortage of COVID-19 vaccines and sought better transparency from the government regarding their availability so that citizens could patiently wait for their turn.

Can we please know where the 70 million doses are being deployed every month? @MoHFW_INDIA We need better transparency to avoid the suspense. If a timetable of supplies is made public people can patiently wait their turn,’ Mazumdar-Shaw had tweeted while tagging the Health Ministry. India has announced expansion of its COVID-19 vaccination drive by allowing its large population aged over 18 to get inoculated from May 1.

Continuing the light-hearted banter, Harsh Vardhan said that there in this vaccine-marriage market, everyone will find their perfect match as several manufacturers are coming on board to augment the supply, while the entry of foreign manufacturers is being fast-tracked and then there are some new potential candidates. One may be left cherry-picking, the minister said.

Union minister Harsh Vardhan was not the only one to reply to the Biocon chief in a similar vein. Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri too said, “Not all marriages begin with love at first sight”.

Though the vaccination drive in India began with two vaccines — Covishield and Covaxin — initially the beneficiaries did not have a choice between the two. Frontline workers were administered free doses according to availability in the first two months. As the vaccination drive is proceeding to the next steps, beneficiaries can choose hospitals with either Covaxin and Covishield from Cowin.

According to government’s estimate, over 200 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccines will be available in India before December 2021, which includes 75 crore doses of Covishield, 55 crore of Covaxin, 30 crore Bio E Subunit vaccine, five crore Zydus Cadila DNA vaccine, 20 crore Serum Institute’s Covavax, 10 crore Bharat Biotech’s nasal vaccine, six crore Gennova mRNA vaccine and 15.6 crore Sputnik vaccine. Sputnik will be available in the market from next week, the ministry said.

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