Suraj Profile picture
My view of the world
5 May
Recently various sources have pitched the Pfizer vaccine for India. This parlays the recent western ‘branding’ effort differentiating Pfizer, but it is known that this vaccine has some unique technical requirements.

This thread analyzes the Pfizer logistics in depth.

The vaccine must be stored at -60 to -80C, i.e. ultra low temp (ULT), much colder than normal freezer (-20C) or fridge (2 to 8C). Such storage systems are costly but cost depends on capacity. These have alarm systems to notify of failure or temperature fluctuations.

The Pfizer transport box shows ~5000 doses = 10L tray volume. It is packed with dry ice and can be transported for no more than 10 days unopened, 15 if dry ice recharged. Each pallet has IoT comm to notify Pfizer of problems:……

Read 24 tweets
4 May
Great thread that takes apart WSJ's predictable opposition to the TRIPS waiver that would help expand COVID vaccine production. The @WSJ is stridently focused on avoiding any attempt to learn from history.

@prasannavishy @c_aashish @amargov @centerofright
The TRIPS waiver was first mooted in October 2020 by India and South Africa:…

A wider document was circulated in January 2021 with the signatories list expanding dramatically:…

Read 11 tweets
28 Apr
@SerumInstIndia and @BharatBiotech recently released new Covid-19 vaccine prices. Enrolment for 18+ begins today.

Are they profiteering ?

This thread covers their production effort, scaling and some other factors. Starting with SII:

SII started out with 50-60 million doses/mth capacity. Apr 1 it announced efforts to scale up to 100m by May using internal resources, and requested Rs.3000cr funding to scale up. The bulk order came thru mid April, enabling further scale up and deliveries through May/June.

A common mistake made is to extrapolate latest prices to all future orders. Prices are tied to capital costs of scaling up and order size. Early SII orders were Rs.200/dose + GST. The higher initial price Is due to setup and initial investment SII made, described later.

Read 34 tweets
22 Apr
This thread addresses Indian vaccine prices and orders.

Covishield sale price. Source:…

1. SII-AZ signed the Covishield licence prodn deal to enable COVAX supply, so $3/dose is baseline
2. SII supplied 50m doses at that price, another 100m doses at 66% of that price to Indian govt.

The second deal significantly stressed SII, supplying so far below cost. Same vaccine made in EU goes for $4-6 (Rs.300-450) per dose. SII pays ~Rs.75 per dose as royalty to AZ. At Rs.150/dose it makes only Rs.75.

Read 18 tweets
21 Apr
This thread reports ongoing India vaccination data, explains 2nd dose crowding effect and May open eligibility projections.

First: Ongoing rate of vaccinations , with both first and second doses considered:

1. >60 group consistently ~1.1 to 1.3m per day since mid March
2. 45-60 group did 2.3/day in wk 1 of April, but dropped to 1.3m by wk 3

Unclear why 45-60 group less enthusiastic despite >60 group consistent wk to wk .

Observations 2
1. Navratri since Apr 13
2. 2nd wave may be lowering turnout.

Since >60 is highest risk group, consistency in that group has highest impact on keeping mortality risk down.

Read 18 tweets
17 Apr
Vaccine supply chain management is a careful balancing act everywhere right now. Here’s a sampling of news to offer context:


Shortages in California in late March:…

Read 19 tweets
13 Apr
This thread discusses “vaccine shortage”. Data from news reports over last 6 months.

Tl;dr: Situation is not shortage as such. India has stockpile of ~140m doses end March. However there’s a tricky situation with supply vs consumption over short term.

Situation: SII and BB accumulated significant stockpiles much before earliest approvals.
SII 40m by mid Nov:…
SII 270m doses produced end-March:…
Covaxin 20m stockpile March:…

Vaccine exports total 64.9 million :… but dropped to almost 0 in April.

Total consumption is 173.1 million up to April 12: 108.2 m local vaccinations plus 64.9m exports .

Read 18 tweets
7 Apr
The vaccination prioritization is set out in the official documentation posted on ICMR’s and MoHFW’s sites:……
Page 64 explicitly lists the priority groups.

It was published back in 2020.

The document offers detailed information on how to communicate a mass vaccination campaign, stating the roles of government, mainstream media, religious leaders, and more.

The Indian guidelines are essentially the same as the prioritization defined in other major economies:

Read 14 tweets
18 Mar
This thread describes the progress of Indian electrification coverage. Two charts are presented, both sourcing data from EIA.

First chart:

1. By the start of the century China had already almost finished full electrification. India had 60% without electricity.
2. Big drop 2000-04, from 600m to 500m
3. Shallow drop 2004-14 from 500m to 350m
4. Big drop 2014-18 from 350m to 50m

1. slope of electrification rate from 2000-04 and since 2014 exceeds peak rate of electrification in China
2. 2017 was start of Saubhagya mission.
3. By 2019, India achieves near complete electrification (next graph)

Read 6 tweets
15 Feb
There's a lot of talk about India and climate change goals. Particularly, it is argued that the Indian government lacks commitment. This thread is intended to offer an overview of current status. It will be data focused.
The most recent epoch of data is the annual climate transparency report:…
All major nations are rated by their ongoing progress against Paris Agreement Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC 2015) towards their 2030 target goals.
Page 23 is of particular interest. All major nations listed with status:
USA: critically insufficient
China: highly insufficient
Japan: highly insufficient
EU: insufficient
Germany: insufficient
France: insufficient
Australia: insufficient
Canada: insufficient
Read 21 tweets