India has the capability to bring down COVID-19 rapidly
The current COVID-19 situation in India is serious, but far from dire. Its COVID mortality rate 1.2/million/day (as of April 21, 2021) is still one of the lowest in the world, less than half of that of the US.
Since India is a major producer of vaccines, the supply is less of an issue than most other countries. The best strategy for India to ramp up the population immunity is to follow the UK's successful rollout plan - one-jab first. In other words, vaccinate people with 1 dose first, administer the 2nd dose after most of the population has been inoculated. The UK has seen its COVID mortality rate dropped rapidly from twice that of the US to half of that of the US in two months.
The first dose offers 80-90% protection against infection, and probably more than 95% against death. Assuming the vulnerable population of India (e.g., those older than 60) is about 200 million, India should be able to finish inoculating all of them in a few weeks.
COVID reinfection is uncommon, and fatalities caused by reinfection are extremely rare. Previously infected people can skip inoculation or wait for a few months. India can have over 300 million people with immunity by the end of May with all vulnerable people inoculated. This should keep the most important metric - mortality rate at a very low level, and the economy can remain open at full steam.
Outdoor COVID outbreaks are extremely rare. People should be encouraged to use outdoor activities in lieu of indoor activities as much as possible.
In summary, the following measures will help India to bring down COVID mortality rate quickly:
- One-jab vaccination strategy.
- Skip previously infected for vaccination.
- Encourage outdoor activities.