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India becomes the second country to reach 1 billion vaccinations, but concerns persist over states not catching up

India becomes the second country to reach 1 billion vaccinations, but concerns persist over states not catching up

India is the second country after China to cross the 1 billion mark, but wide disparity between vaccination rate in states can slowdown its aim of vaccinating all Indians before 2022.

India has been able to fully vaccinate 30.8 per cent of the nation's 940 million adult population, while 43.7 per cent of its population has received single jabs of the vaccine. India has been able to fully vaccinate 30.8 per cent of the nation's 940 million adult population, while 43.7 per cent of its population has received single jabs of the vaccine.

India has administered 100 crore vaccine doses, a milestone for the world's second-most populous country that brings it closer to the government's stated goal of vaccinating 1.08 billion of its population by December 2021.  

According to the government's Cowin data, India has been able to fully vaccinate 30.8 per cent of the nation's 940 million adult population, while 43.7 per cent of its population has received single jabs of the vaccine. It was able to achieve this feat in 278 days since the government initiated the vaccination drive on January 16 this year. 

According to Our World in Data, India has administered more vaccines than the European Union, US, Japan, and Germany. In fact, India has administered more vaccine doses than any other country except China, the only two countries that have given a billion jabs to their population. Our World in Data is a collaborative effort between researchers at the University of Oxford, and Global Change Data Lab to collate worldwide data on Covid-19. 

However, if we see doses per 100 people, India's number is well behind those of other countries. So far, India has administered 77.7 doses per 100 persons, lagging behind US that has administered 121.5 doses, Germany has 132 doses per 100 people of its population, China is at 149 doses, and European Union has given 129.2 doses per 100 people of its population. 

Out of the 100 million shots administered, 70.7 per cent (or 70.8 crore) are first doses, while 29.3 per cent (29.2 crore) are second doses, according to Cowin data. This means that nearly three out of every four adults in the country have now received at least one shot of the vaccine. According to Business Today’s analysis, India has been able to administer more than 30 lakh doses on average through its ten-month vaccination period. This is in sharp contrast to the initial days of the campaign -- when India was giving 50,000 doses each day.  


"I congratulate every single Indian for the landmark of administering 1 billion vaccine doses. No matter which sector it is, when everyone contributes to making something a success, then the wheels start moving faster and history is created, milestones are achieved," PM Modi said at an event today at AIIMS Campus in New Delhi via video conferencing. 

He further thanked the vaccine companies, health professionals and front-line, workers for their work.  

Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO South East Asia Regional Director, said that India's progress must be viewed in the context of the country's commendable commitment and efforts to ensure that life saving vaccines are accessible globally.

In addition, the government has launched an audio-visual song produced and sung by Kailash Kher and will be launching the hashtag #vaccinecentury on social media.  

Disparity between states 

Data from Cowin also shows that 13 states are inoculating at a pace slower than India’s overall aver age.There is wide disparity in states in terms of number of doses administered and pace of vaccinations. UP, Jharkhand, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Punjab, Assam, Telangana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, and Haryana have administered vaccine doses lesser than India’s average of 77.7 doses per 100 populations. 

On the other hand, states like Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, and Himachal Pradesh have administered more than 92 doses per 100 persons of its population, the highest in the country.  

UP, Jharkhand, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal have fully vaccinated less than 25 per cent of its population. For UP, fully vaccinated figures stand at 18 per cent or 2.7 crore of its population who have received both the doses of the vaccine. Although, it has given the highest number of doses in the country at 120 million, it has administered only 49.8 doses per 100 persons of its population, one of the lowest in the country. This means that with one of the slowest rates of vaccination in the country and with the highest adult population, UP will take the longest time to fully vaccinate hundred percent of its 147 million people.  

Jharkhand has fully vaccinated 19 per cent or 48 lakh of its total population of 2.4 crore, and has administered 73.8 doses per 100 persons, lower than India’s average. Bihar has administered 49.2 doses per 100 persons, and has given double shots to 20 per cent of its total population of 7.3 crores. 

States that have given highest doses per 100 population are Himachal Pradesh (103.1), Kerala(100.3), Jammu and Kashmir (94), Uttarakhand (92.3), and Gujarat (90.2). These states also have the highest proportion of double vaccinated people -- Himachal Pradesh has double vaccinated 56 per cent of its population, Gujarat has vaccinated 47.5 per cent, Jammu and Kashmir 47 per cent, and Kerala 46 per cent. 

Gujarat, Kerala, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Himachal Pradesh have vaccinated over 90 per cent of their adult population with at least one dose. While higher-population states -- Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Jharkhand, and Tamil Nadu have vaccinated less than 70 per cent of their population with the first dose.  

Nearly half-way there 

Going ahead, for the first time, there are more second vaccine doses being administered, and this constitutes about half the total number of doses. In fact, on October 18, India saw the largest increase in its second dose of vaccines with 52 lakh second doses, against 38 lakh first doses. On October 19, 18 lakh people were vaccinated with their first dose, and 22 lakh people received their second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. 

India has stated that its aim is to fully vaccinate its entire adult population by the end of this year. But the challenge remains that an additional 90 crore doses will have to be administered between now and December 31. It means India will have to vaccinate as much of the population in the next two months or in one-fourth of the time.  

Vaccination has played a key role in limiting the spread of the disease. India's daily count of cases had dropped from a peak of over 4 lakh to 50,000 within 45 days between May and June. Between July-September, it remained within a range of 25,000-50,000. In October, the number of active cases has finally begun to slide down rapidly. For ten days now, the daily case count has not touched 20,000.