India sees sharp decline in Covid vaccination numbers though more people are eligible

Graphic by Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint

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New Delhi: Despite Covid-19 vaccines now being open to all adults in India, the vaccination numbers have not picked up nationwide, with the average number of daily doses falling to 13.61 lakh in the past three days.

Data further showed that the number of people delaying getting their second shot may be in several lakhs.

India’s vaccination programme, that first began on 16 January, opened up to all age groups above 18 years on 1 May. However, despite this third phase in the programme making more individuals eligible for the vaccine, the number of those vaccinated has not picked up.

Several reasons can be attributed to this slow pick up.

State health departments blame the shortage of vaccines. Also, as cases surge, people have become reluctant to step out of their homes for fear of contracting the disease.

Here’s a look at the daily vaccination numbers in India since April.

Also read: India has 6.3 crore doses of Covid vaccines, currently, per month, Centre tells SC

Daily doses

According to the data uploaded on the CoWIN platform, a total of 15,60,82,136 doses of vaccines have been delivered in India since the national vaccination drive began in January. As many as 12,76,79,607 people received at least one shot of the vaccine so far.

Graphic by Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint
Graphic by Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint

While the daily number of doses widely fluctuates daily, a look at the three-day rolling averages shows that daily vaccinations have been declining throughout the month of April.

While the pace of vaccination picked up for a few days at the end of April, since 1 May, the numbers have been falling. Currently the three-day average of daily shots delivered is just over 13.61 lakh.

First doses vs second doses

Data shows that the declining trend is consistent not only for people signing up for their first dose, but also for people trying to get their second dose.

For instance, just 9,92,524 people across India got their first dose on 3 May. Here too, the average number of people getting their first shot is declining.

Graphic by Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint
Graphic by Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint

What is more concerning, however, is that the number of people getting their second doses is also on a similar decline.

For instance, of the 5,26,37,731 individuals who received their first dose by 1 April, 88,98,263 people had gotten their second dose by then. This means that the remaining (over 4.3 crore) became eligible for the second dose on 1 May.

Graphic by Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint
Graphic by Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint

However, in the last three days, just a little over 17 lakh people have gotten their second shot of the vaccine.

This appears to indicate that more and more people are delaying getting their second dose.  

Covaxin vs Covishield

Graphic by Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint
Graphic by Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint

India currently has two types of vaccines available. Covishield, the AstraZeneca-Oxford shot being manufactured by Serum Institute of India, accounts for over 90 per cent of the total shots delivered. The other is Covaxin, the indigenous vaccine developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research.

Data on both vaccines show a decline in the past month.

Age-wise distribution

Graphic by Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint
Graphic by Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint

As of now, just about 12 per cent (1.5 crore people) of the total vaccinated population are under the age of 45 years. This includes healthcare workers and frontline workers who were prioritised by the government for vaccinations.

Also read: Tamil Nadu wasted 8.8% of its Covid vaccine doses, UP has the largest stock, govt data says


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