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Here’s how states are performing in the COVID-19 vaccination drive

Amidst reports of vaccine shortage in the country, we look at how states have performed in inoculating their population.

April 10, 2021 / 08:10 AM IST
India's COVID-19 vaccination drive was expanded on March 1 to include senior citizens, and those aged 45-59 who have co-mobordities. (Image: AP)

India's COVID-19 vaccination drive was expanded on March 1 to include senior citizens, and those aged 45-59 who have co-mobordities. (Image: AP)

At least 94.3 million COVID vaccination doses have been administered across India, according to the April 9 update of the government. The pace of vaccinations is increasing and India surpassed the US with nearly 3.7 million doses administered in a single day on April 8.

However, the vaccination drive could slow down or even halt temporarily because of reports of vaccine shortages across states. Although the Union government has refuted this claim, multiple sources in the ministry of external affairs (MEA) confirmed to Moneycontrol that the ‘Vaccine Maitri’ programme of exporting vaccines has been put on hold for the next one month or until the supply of vaccines for domestic requirements reaches an 'optimal level'.

The concerns about vaccine shortage emerge at time when India has reported at least 100,000 new cases for the last three consecutive days with Maharashtra being the worst affected. Of the 979,608 active cases in India as per the April 9 update, Maharashtra accounts for 53 percent or 522,762 active cases, followed by Chhattisgarh (68,125) and Karnataka (53,414). Maharashtra also reported the most 56,286 or 43 percent of new cases in the last 24 hours and 376 or 48 percent of the deaths.

The state has shut over 125 COVID-19 vaccination centers (26 in Mumbai) due to shortage of vaccine doses.

Of the total vaccinations administered till date across the country, 87 percent are recipients of their first dose while 13 percent have received the second dose. Among states, of the total doses (both first and second) Maharashtra has administered the most--nearly 9.3 million, followed by Rajasthan (8.8 million) and Gujarat (8.5 million).

To add some perspective, Maharashtra accounts for 9.9 percent of the total doses administered till date, higher than its (9.1 percent) share in the country’s total population (based on projected population for 2021). Rajasthan whose population (5.8 percent) is much lower compared to Maharashtra has fared better in administering the doses--with a 9.3 percent share in total jabs.


COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Look at it another way, Maharashtra has administered 75 doses per 1,000 population, much lower compared to some of the larger states such as Chhattisgarh (125.7), Gujarat (121.4) and Rajasthan (111.1). States such as  Uttar Pradesh and Bihar--among the most populous--rank at the bottom.

Only about 6 percent of the country’s population has received their first jab of the vaccine, indicating a long road ahead. With surge in cases, experts suggest the need to accelerate the pace of vaccination as well as strengthening containment. “Blaming each other isn’t helpful. What we need is to Regroup, Reinforce and Retaliate! against the common enemy, a sly virus,” says Dr Giridhara Babu, an epidemiologist and a public health expert.
Chaitanya Mallapur
first published: Apr 9, 2021 07:45 pm

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