Sridhar V Profile picture
2 May, 5 tweets, 2 min read
India's Vaccine Baron Adar Poonawala says SII's capacity will
⬆️ from 60-70 m/month to 100 m/month (3m/day) by July. India needs at least 7m/day to cover 18+ popn within 2021. This wide gap is what gives the monopoly scope for hiking prices.…
Poonawala, shifty as always, now takes the risky route of blaming the NaMo Govt for taking "it easy" and for being being complacent. "There were no orders," he reveals and says that SII was not expected to produce more than 1 billion doses/yr. Clearly this fiasco is a JV.
Poonawala says the NaMo Govt only ordered for 21 m doses for delivery by Feb (about 7-10 days supply at current vaccination rates!). The next order, for 110m only came in March, when the wave was on the. verge of taking off.
The outrageous price SII is now able to charge arises directly from the egregious negligence of the NaMo Govt and the SII's abuse of the resulting monopoly power to charge extortionate profits from Indians.
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More from @sritara

21 Apr
THREAD - On the dangerous Indian free market approach to vaccination
1. This is about the wishful fantasies of free market warriors about vaccines, who welcome SSI’s decision on a three-tier price structure - 150/dose for Centre, 400 for states and 600 for pet hospitals.
2. First and foremost, this is by no means a “free market” for vaccines. There is heavy intervention by way at every stage, including in development of the vaccine, its distribution and lastly in terms of orders placed, which made production possible in the first place.
3. IOWs SSI or BB cannot by any means plug the familiar claim that they have developed and therefore need to be compensated. More imp, the vaccine is unlike any other “good” - it is a matter of life and death for all, irrespective of the purchasing power of the “consumer”.
Read 18 tweets
19 Apr
THREAD On the latest announcement on vaccines - 1. A disastrous course that will deter adoption, increase hesitancy and drive prices out of the reach of beleaguered states and people who need it most. All in the name of being market friendly
2. Did you notice the main ploy in the Phase 3 is that half the supplies will be based on market prices, delivered to state governments? The Centre will get the other half of the supplies at the fixed rate contract, leaving the other half for private profit gouging.
3. This will significantly depress vaccine adoption, especially among the high-risk groups. This also worsens India's vaccine problem by adding another dimension.
Read 11 tweets
9 Mar
This petition by entities @thewire_in @thenewsminute among others only confirmed my suspicion that the indian legacy media would never fight to stay relevant in the digital realm that is free from Govt control.…
Its grudging challenge to the draconian IT Rules reveals the truth that it'd be more interested in desperately defending its turf rather than seek embrace the digital realm. This which requires it to abandon its existing business model in favour of something that is democratic.
Seeking subscribers (paid) while retaining its ad-driven model is a hare-brained idea for legacy media. When will they ever learn that the two - ad-driven vs subscriber-based - are incompatible and require a fundamental repositioning.
Read 5 tweets
11 Feb
Once upon a time auto companies (among others) used to hire workers as trainees, and keep them as trainees for prolonged periods in order to avoid paying them proper wages and statutory benefits. Now media companies, among them industry leaders do the same.
Since the pandemic several leading media companies, after having sacked journos and imposed wage cuts, have found been innovative in finding new ways to further cut the wage bill. The trick is to engage new journos and take them as "trainees".
The trick is to extend and prolong the trainee's "contract" so that the media companies - many of them the venerable ones from another era - can shortchange these young journos during the pandemic.
Read 6 tweets
10 Feb
Frontline’s latest issue has a comprehensive package of five stories on the budget, each focusing on a particular aspect. @sritara reckons this is the most socially disruptive and divisive budget in the last three decades…
@DasguptaZico argues that the Budget provides neither an impetus to investment and growth nor provides income support to the worst-hit in the pandemic…
@ramakumarr argues that the budget, coming as it does in the midst of unprecedented protests by peasants, mocks them and threatens to squeeze their incomes even more
Read 5 tweets
10 Sep 20
A recent NBER research paper by three Indian-origin authors debunks NaMO Govt's claims of success in handling the pandemic. It shows how the Case Fatality Rate in India, when adjusted for age, in unconscionably high.
Recall that Covid was always supposed to be a disease in which fatalities among the elderly was higher. Given that India is a relatively "young" country, the expectation (statistically speaking) is that overall fatalities would be lower because of the relatively young population.
The study reveals that when adjusted for age distribution in the population, the CFR in India is far higher. It also attempts to examine CFR in terms of the viral disease's lagged effect, considering the incubation period.
Read 5 tweets

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