India must increase vaccinations five-fold to reach 100% target: Report
India aims to vaccinate its entire eligible population fully against the deadly COVID-19 by the end of 2021. However, the country would not be able to reach this ambitious target at the current pace of vaccination. In fact, it would be possible to achieve this goal only if India's average daily inoculation rate is increased by five times, says a TOI report. Here's more.
While the TOI study—that took the 18+ population of each state as per the 2021 Census into consideration—said India's daily vaccination levels need a five-fold increase, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar must accelerate their current inoculation rates by nine times and more than eight times, respectively. It also said Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, and Assam have to ramp up their daily vaccinations by about seven times.
According to the report, in little under five months, Uttar Pradesh has been able to administer 1.4 lakh doses a day on average. It partially immunized less than 12% of its adult population and administered the second dose only to 2.5% so far. To achieve the 100% vaccination target, it must administer 13.2 lakh doses every day—a nine-fold rise in the daily inoculation rate.
Next up is Bihar, which has so far administered the first dose of the vaccine to 12.6% of its 18+ population and both doses to just 2.5%. Moreover, the state has been able to give an average of 78,000 shots in a day. So, it will have to ramp up its daily vaccination numbers by 8.4 times to administer 6.6 lakh doses a day.
Meanwhile, the vaccination drives in Himachal Pradesh and Kerala seem slightly better compared to other states. Himachal Pradesh partially vaccinated 38.1% and fully inoculated 7.9% of eligible population, and needs to little more than double its daily vaccinations. In Kerala, 31% of adult population received the first shot and 8.1% got both doses; it is required to raise the inoculation rate by 2.8 times.
The report further notes that states like West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, and Telangana need to raise their average daily vaccination numbers by about five times or a little more. It also says Maharashtra—India's second-most populous state in terms of 18+ population—needs to increase the daily vaccination by 4.5 times. Meanwhile, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Gujarat, and Andhra Pradesh require a three- to four-fold rise.
So far, over 23.7 crore doses of the COVID-19 vaccines in use—Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN, Serum Institute of India's Covishield, and Russia's Sputnik V—have been administered in India. However, only 4.47 crore people, or 3.3% of India's total population, have been fully vaccinated until now.