Arjun Kumar was wary about getting a COVID-19 vaccine until India's deadly second wave reached villages near his home in the eastern state of Odisha.

Now, like thousands of others scrambling to book a vaccine appointment across the country, his chances of finding one hinge on who different state governments think should be given first priority on limited supplies.

"Initially I wasn't planning to take the vaccination because people said you could die or get a fever. But now there is death all around, I'm scared," Kumar, 30, a teacher, said by phone from his home in Nadarpur village.