MUMBAI — India is racing to contain a second wave of the coronavirus, but its vaccination campaign is running into doubters like Akbar Mohamed Patel.
A resident of Mumbai’s densely populated slum area of Dharavi, Mr. Patel survived a severe bout of the coronavirus in May. The first wave prompted Mumbai officials to seal off his housing complex, confining thousands of people for nearly two months.
Still, the current campaign has been marred by a slow initial government rollout, as well as skepticism and apathy from people like Mr. Patel and his neighbors. “On social media we come to know this is all a big game to make money,” Mr. Patel said. Of the vaccine, he said, “many things have been hidden.”
The coronavirus, once seemingly in retreat, is again rippling across India. Confirmed infections have risen to about 31,600 daily from a low of about 9,800 in February. In a recent two-week period, deaths shot up 82 percent.
dramatic nationwide lockdown and resulting economic recession.
“I am very categorical that we should stop it, contain it, just here,” said Dr. Rahul Pandit, a critical care physician at a private hospital in Mumbai and a member of the Maharashtra Covid-19 task force.
India’s vaccination campaign could have global consequences.
nearly monthlong delay in delivery of five million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine being manufactured in India. The reasons for the delay are not clear, but the manufacturer, Serum Institute of India, has said shipments will depend in part on domestic Indian needs.