The much coveted 100 crore vaccine mark. Celebrations, congratulatory messages and more.
Even with the current figures; no country other than China has achieved this landmark. But, while this is reason to celebrate, there’s much left to be desired.
India’s vaccination programme kickstarted in January this year. In May 2021, the central government had declared that it would vaccinate its entire adult population by December 2021.
However, that is unlikely even if India has enough vaccines. In order to fully vaccinate its projected 94 Crore adult population by December, India needs to administer 188 Crore Vaccine doses.
As of now, India has administered almost 100 crore doses of one of the three approved vaccines – Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik V –, which is a little more than half of the 188 crore doses it plans to deliver by the end of the year. As per the Cowin portal, about 30% of the adult population has been fully vaccinated as of now.
This means to vaccinate the entire 100% adult population, India has to do in the next two and a half months, what it did in the last nine months.
The reality on the ground is that the vaccination graph, instead of going up, has been on a sharp decline in the month of October.
And this time, the unavailability of the vaccines is not the reason. Shortage of vaccines was seen during the 2nd Covid wave between April and June, which even forced a stoppage of the inoculation drive in many areas.
Recent reports suggest that India’s vaccination campaign has slowed because authorities have maintained a wider-than-usual gap between both the doses of Covishield, the vaccine which accounts for nearly 90% of administered doses.
Hence, only 30% of the adult population has been able to get both the jabs till now.
So If the regulations of a 12-16 week gap between the first and second shots of Covishield remain unchanged, most of the population getting its first dose after mid October would be eligible for the next dose only in the initial part of the next year.
Which clearly shows how India’s entire adult population will still miss a chance of getting fully vaccinated by December end.