Population size ignored in allocation of COVID jabs to states
Prime Minister Narendra Modi may have expressed satisfaction after India reached the 50-crore vaccination mark last week, but the fact is that vaccine disparity is for real as is evident from the fact that eight of the 10 top states that have received COVID vaccine doses (per hundred persons) so far are ruled by BJP and its allies.
Delhi remains the only non-BJP ruled territory to have received more than 50 doses (61 doses) of vaccines per hundred persons as of June 2021.
The Union Territory of Lakshadweep has received the highest i.e. 141 doses of vaccines per hundred persons. The ideal number would be 200 doses per 100 persons since each person is expected to get two doses to complete the vaccination. Lakshadweep is followed by Ladakh and Sikkim that have received 111 and 99 doses per hundred persons, respectively. Other BJP-ruled states that got more than 50 doses per hundred persons include Tripura, Goa, Mizoram and Andaman & Nicobar Islands, according to data.
Delhi stands 9th in the list with 61 doses per hundred persons. It is again followed by six BJP-ruled states namely Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Puducherry, Uttarakhand and Gujarat. These states have received 43 to 60 doses. All the other non-BJP ruled states have received less than 43 doses per hundred persons. Uttar Pradesh, also a state ruled by the BJP, and a big state by all standards has got just 16 doses per hundred.
Reality check on Mamata Banerjee’s claim
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has accused the Centre of supplying more vaccines to BJP-ruled states at the cost of other states. She said West Bengal is getting “a much lower number of doses” despite having a huge population. She said her repeated requests on augmenting vaccine supply has fallen on deaf ears.
Mamata says that Bengal is capable of administering nearly 11 lakh doses a day, but is administering only 4 lakh doses a day right now because of vaccine shortage.
Meanwhile, The Federal dug into the vaccine supply data provided by Union Minister of State for Health Dr Bharati Pawar in Lok Sabha. The data (see chart) partly substantiates the West Bengal CM’s claim. It is quite evident that smaller BJP-ruled states are leading in vaccine supply race.
Where do other non-BJP ruled states stand?
Delhi is ninth on the list with 61 doses provided per hundred persons as of June 21. Kerala received 43 doses and is ranked 16th on the list. Congress-ruled states like Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan are getting about 40 and 36 vaccine doses per hundred, respectively. The worst-hit state – Maharashtra – has got around 30 doses on the same scale.
Mamata Banerjee’s West Bengal has received 25 doses per hundred persons, shows the data. Tamil Nadu (23 doses per hundred persons) and Jharkhand (21 doses per hundred persons) have got the least number of doses among non-BJP ruled states when compared in terms of population.
However, BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh stands out in the list as it lags behind all the states with just 16 doses per hundred persons.
Overall supply of vaccines
The absolute number of vaccines supplied to states gives a different picture though. As per the data, Maharashtra has received the maximum number of vaccine doses (about 3.52 crore doses), followed by Uttar Pradesh (3.28 crore doses), by the end of June. A total of 16 states and Union Territories have received more than one crore doses of vaccine. These states include Gujarat, Rajasthan, Karnataka, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Telangana, Odisha, Delhi, Chhattisgarh and Haryana.