Just as the deadly second wave of COVID has abated, India is working hard to prevent a third wave. A robust vaccination programme is critical at this juncture. While the decrease in number of fresh cases and COVID-led mortality is a welcome trend, the low state of vaccination is cause for concern, say administrators and healthcare experts.
According to estimates, to stop a third wave from occurring, India needs to vaccinate a minimum of 60% of its population by December 2021, said an NDTV report. This means, to reach critical mass in terms of inoculation, 86 lakh vaccines need to be administered per day.
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Over the past week, the vaccination rate has been around 40 lakh a day, which suggests a shortfall of 46 lakh, said the report. On Monday, the number was 45.68 lakh per the CoWIN website, still a far cry from the required 86 lakh.
Every day’s shortfall has a cumulative, exponential effect — it gets added to the total number of pending jabs, which in turn increases the required jabs per day.
The CoWIN website said about 35.43 crore vaccinations have been administered till date, and about 6.55 crore Indians are fully vaccinated against COVID. As a percentage of the total population, estimated at 1.3 billion, the inoculation numbers are shockingly low.
Uttar Pradesh is leading among the states in terms of first doses, at 2.84 crore, followed by Maharashtra at 2.74 crore and Rajasthan at 2.14 crore. When it comes to second doses, Maharashtra comes first, at 69.86 lakh. This is followed by Gujarat at 60.81 lakh and West Bengal at 56.74 lakh.
Maharashtra leads the overall vaccination drive with 3.44 crore doses, followed by Uttar Pradesh at 3.35 crore and Gujarat at 2.71 crore.