NEW DELHI (AP) — They wince but barely notice the prick of the needle.
Pandemic-weary and sequestered mostly in their homes for a year, India’s elderly are now standing in long lines at vaccination sites, then rolling up their sleeves to get shots protecting them against the coronavirus.
India’s hospitals are scrambling to deliver the doses in the second phase of the country’s COVID-19 inoculation campaign.
The government plans to inoculate 300 million people by August, including healthcare workers, people older than 60 and those over 45 with significant health risks, but the ambitious vaccination drive that began in January is still running way below capacity.
More than 26 million people have gotten a shot, though only 4.72 million are fully vaccinated with both doses.
The pace has prompted concerns India could miss its vaccination targets. The effort is fraught with logistical challenges in a country with nearly 1.4 billion people, but the drive has added urgency since new infections have begun to increase again after months of consistent decline.