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HomeHealthIntriguing story of India’s slackening vaccination numbers despite Modi’s ‘Tika Utsav’ push

Intriguing story of India’s slackening vaccination numbers despite Modi’s ‘Tika Utsav’ push

The number of vaccinations per day has fluctuated through April and shown an overall downward trend, at a time when Covid cases and deaths have been surging.

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New Delhi: After India opened up its vaccination drive to those over 45 years of age on 1 April, the daily count of doses administered has been inconsistent to poor, and even the four-day ‘Tika Utsav’ announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi hasn’t been able to boost the numbers.

A comparison of the daily average vaccination during the ‘Tika Utsav’ period and the rest of the month so far shows that there isn’t a stark difference in the numbers. While 33.47 lakh vaccinations were recorded on an average during the ‘Tika Utsav’ days across India, 11 to 14 April, the average daily vaccination during the rest of the month, till 17 April, stood at 31.38 lakh.

India recorded more than 2.6 lakh new cases in a single day, according to data released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Sunday morning. And official vaccination data till 17 April showed that 12.26 crore doses have been registered so far, which is less than 9 per cent of the country’s population.

While on some days, India administered over 43 lakh doses in a day, on other days, the figure stood at just 16 lakh.

On 11 April, 29.33 lakh doses were administered. The number was 40.04 lakh on 12 April, 31.39 lakh on 13 April and 33.13 lakh on 14 April. It went down again on 15 April, only to go up the next day when the country administered more than 30 lakh vaccination doses.

Also read: As Modi’s ‘Tika Utsav’ ends, many states & pvt hospitals wait for Centre to fill vaccine gap

Bottom honours

India’s slow vaccination rate among the worst in the world has experts worried, with some saying it will be years before the country manages to administer both doses of the vaccine to the entire population.

According to the vaccination data till 17 April, India is at the bottom of the list in comparison to other countries that have administered at least one dose of the vaccine to their populations.

At the top are Israel, the US and Bahrain where 61.73, 38.72 and 34.78 per cent of the population respectively have been administered at least one dose. India and Russia are at the bottom, with 7.71 per cent and 6.80 per cent of the population respectively having received at least one dose of the shot.

Rijo M. John, a health economist based in Kerala, had, in January, estimated that at the rate at which people in India are being vaccinated, it would take at least eight years to vaccinate 20 per cent of Indians with two doses.

He tweeted on 17 January that “1.91 lakh people were given a single dose of Covid-19 vaccine yesterday (16 January). At that rate, we’re looking at 8 years to vaccinate even 20 per cent of Indians with two doses. It’d take two million doses per day to vaccinate only 60 per cent of the population in 27 months!”

According to the latest data shared by John, as of 17 April, only 7.72 per cent Indians are vaccinated with at least one dose.

Meanwhile, epidemiologist Giridhar R. Babu, who is associated with the Public Health Foundation of India, has estimated that the country will have to administer 10 million (or one crore) doses per day to cover the 300 million (or 30 crore) people classified by the government as vulnerable to Covid, within a two-to-three month period.

“By doing that, we will be able to reduce their risk of death in the subsequent days. Currently, it will not have a direct impact on reducing the second wave as such, mainly because the cases are surging and we need strong containment measures to reduce that. But in the days to come, covering the vulnerable population will be of greater advantage, because the mortality won’t increase even if there is a third wave,” said Babu.

Babu added that once India has enough stock of vaccines, the drive should be opened to everyone, including those below 45 years of age. “We do not even have enough vaccines for people coming to the vaccination centers as of now. Once we have sorted the demand and supply issue, vaccination should be opened to everyone,” he said.

That’s a tall order to achieve for a country, where according to data compiled by Our World in Data, the percentage of people who were fully vaccinated (those who have received both doses) as of 17 April was just 1.2 per cent.

(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)

Also read: Average vaccinations declined during ‘Tika Utsav’, India records over 2,00,000 new Covid cases


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  1. Article is truly factless and misleading even bbc said that india was one of the fastest administering vaccinating country and you put false figure on one article(not talking abt. this one) that India hit 100M in 84 days and US in 82 days …while every other foreign or indian media outlet said it was 85 and 89 days respectively.
    Very good fact adulteration to promote propganda.??

  2. Teeka Utsav without Teeka is like Tikka without Chicken, Paneer is of no use. It’s is also Geography without atlas or English without dictionary. BJP should understand that when SC ordered Diwali without crackers, they there is no Diwali without crackers. It’s not Utsav important Tikkakaran

  3. This is very misleading article, india’s 7% which is approx 70 million is many times over compared with population of Israel or UK.
    What about vaccine hesitancy and same promoted by some of the media and opposition. Many hospitals were not getting enough patients in a day. Should govt go house to house and force vaccinate, then media will cry autocracy. India has some bad and some bright spots … A good journalist would highlight both…. Can’t expect that here

  4. Presumably staff that should have been vaccinating has been diverted to hospital care of active Covid cases?

  5. What a dumb article, do u even know what’s the vaccine production rate of India?
    Just 2.5 million per day with a stock of 100 million at the beginning of year, also we have a commitment of exporting 80 mn vaccines outside under the programme which vaccines are made.
    U didn’t touch upon any of that,
    I really wonder how the print gives space to semi literates like this writer

    • Typical semi-literate bhakt. The end result is the same – vaccination rates are low, which is what the article is about. And by the way- the article does mention low vaccine stocks. If only you would care to read. Oh wait – I forgot. Bhakts don’t read. They just replay the mantra they’ve been brainwashed with.

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