British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said 800,000 doses will arrive next week, with millions coming in the following weeks | Representative Photo: iStock

2.50 cr or 2.18 cr doses on PM's birthday? Data doesn't match up

The Centre’s claim of administering over 2.50 crore doses of COVID vaccine on the birthday of Prime Minister Narendra Modi does not match up with the numbers of the last two days provided by the Ministry of Health.

Its daily bulletins published on September 16 and September 17 show different numbers on the official record. According to the provisional data provided by the government and news reports, the country administered about 2.50 crore doses while the morning update shows only 2.18 crore inoculations.

If we look at numbers in the miscellaneous category, the two figures again create confusion. Under the category, only 434 doses were administered on Friday, shows official data.

BJP-ruled states take the mantle

The data also shows that five states contributed more than 60 per cent of the doses given on the PM’s birthday. These numbers are substantially higher than these states’ daily average inoculations. All of the top-performing states – Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat (ruled by the BJP) – and Bihar where it’s sharing power with JD(U).

Bihar alone administered over 30 lakh doses in a day compared to its daily average of nearly 5 lakh doses until Thursday (September 16). It is followed by Karnataka that administered about 29.46 lakh doses notwithstanding its overall average of about 3 lakh doses a day. Uttar Pradesh (27.69 lakh), Madhya Pradesh (27.31 lakh), and Gujarat (24.13 lakh) are the other three states to have administered over 20 lakh doses in a single day on Friday.

The five states have together contributed about 63.51 per cent (or 1.38 crore doses) of total inoculations and surpassed their daily averages by many times on Friday.

Maharashtra (12.55 lakh) and Andhra Pradesh (10.98 lakh) administered over 10 lakh doses on the same day. Apart from that, Assam (7.63 lakh) and Telangana (5.43 lakh) were among the achievers with over 5 lakh doses.

One crore and counting

This was the fifth time India crossed the mark of over 1 crore inoculations in a day. According to official data, the country has achieved this feat five times until Saturday.

August 24 was the first time when India administered over 1 crore doses in a single day. On that day, nearly 1.40 crore doses were given across the country. Later, the same target was achieved on August 27 (1.07 crore doses), August 31 (1.35 crore doses) and September 6 (1.15 crore doses) by the health ministry.

Friday, the PM’s birthday, was the biggest milestone in terms of number of inoculations in India since the beginning of the vaccination drive on January 16.

Considering the current weekly moving average of about 70 lakh doses a day, India shall be able to achieve the target of 100 crore doses in less than five weeks from now. This means the target of 100 crore doses by mid-October seems within reach considering that the pace of vaccination is maintained, if not increased.

Also read: COVID booster shots a luxury, one jab for every Indian must be priority, say experts

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