COVID-19 vaccinations fall 68% after record on June 21
COVID-19 vaccinations in India have seen a sharp dip after hitting a record number of single-day inoculations nearly two weeks ago. On June 21, India had managed a record number of 86 lakh vaccinations in a single day. The same day, the Centre's updated vaccination policy had come into effect and the record vaccinations were widely publicized. However, vaccinations have since dropped by 68%.
On June 27, only 17 lakh doses were administered
According to data made available by the Union Health Ministry, 27.6 lakh vaccine doses were administered on Wednesday (June 30), marking a 68% decline compared to June 21. The decline was the sharpest on June 27, when India inoculated just 17.21 lakh doses (an 80% decline compared to June 21). Barring Monday—when 52.76 lakh doses were administered—India's vaccination has slowed down this week.
Over 60 lakh doses administered between June 23-26
After June 22, 50 lakh doses (on average) were administered while 60+ lakh doses were administered every day between June 23 and 26. In comparison, between June 15 and 29, single-day vaccinations ranged from a low of 28 lakh to a high of 38.1 lakh.
Average single-day vaccinations peaked in June
India's average per day vaccination rate notably hit its peak in June (39.85 lakh), which was twice the average rate recorded throughout the nation's vaccination drive (20.22 lakh). India's vaccination drive was launched on January 16, 2021. However, initially, only healthcare and frontline workers were allowed to be vaccinated. The drive was slowly expanded and now covers all adults.
Only 4.5% people fully vaccinated in India
Further, India has only managed to fully vaccinate roughly 4.5% of its total population, while 21% has received at least one dose. India has currently approved only three vaccines—Serum Institute of India's Covishield (AstraZeneca), Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN, and Russia's Sputnik V—which require two doses.
Centre now providing free vaccines to all adults
On June 21, the Centre had updated the vaccination policy, deciding to cover the vaccination cost for all adults. Previously, it was only covering the cost of those aged over 45. Several states had then decided to provide free doses to those aged 18-44. The controversial old regulation wherein states were procuring doses at a higher rate compared to the Centre was also changed.
Centre updated policy after Supreme Court's nudge
Under the new policy, the Centre procures 75% of all doses manufactured and will provide them to states for free (25% available in the private market). This change came after the Supreme Court's intervention which observed that the states were being left in the lurch.
States continue to see vaccine shortage
Separately, the West Bengal government reported a vaccine shortage and announced that it will slow down administering first doses to its population. Odisha also reported a shortage of vaccines and requested the Centre for an urgent supply of additional doses. Further, the vaccination drive has also slowed in parts of Gujarat (Surat, Vadodara, and Rajkot) and Uttar Pradesh (Noida and Ghaziabad).