India reached Rs 100 crore in a record time of 275 days.

India is racing towards achieving Rs 100 crore for the Covid-19 vaccination benchmark and even with current figures, no country other than China has achieved this milestone. Also since no other country has such a population as India and China, the Billion Potion Club will consist of only these two Asian countries.

However, for a country that has faced supply bottlenecks, and vaccine hesitation in the initial period, Rs 100 crore is a major achievement in itself. India has faced logistical problems in distributing and storing vaccines and providing a cooling network to remote areas where the healthcare facility is not up to par. Add to that the fact that India entered the midst of the worst second wave of the pandemic as soon as vaccines became available to the general public, paralyzing the very health care system that was to be used to administer the vaccine.

India reached Rs 100 crore in a record time of 275 days. The vaccination campaign with health care workers began on January 16 and an average of 27 doses were delivered in 10 months. There were differences in the frequency of vaccination such that in six days more than 1 crore patches were given while in the first two months only 50,000 doses were given to the priority group.

As of October 16, more than 28.28 crores of people have been fully vaccinated and 69.47 crores have received at least one dose, which means that 74 per cent of the adult population in India have had at least one dose while 30 per cent have been fully vaccinated.

Better coverage of smaller stars with a smaller population

In states such as Sikkim, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Chandigarh and Lakshadweep, 100 percent of the adult population has received at least one dose and also has the highest proportion of fully vaccinated people.

On the other hand, some of the larger states with more population like Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat and Uttarakhand have also been able to partially vaccinate 90 per cent of the population. However, some of the less densely populated northeastern states such as Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland and Utah in Puducherry are lagging far behind with an average of 60 percent of the population getting a first jab.

For larger states with more populations such as Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar and Maharashtra, coverage is close to 70 percent for the first dose and between 17 to 20 percent for the second dose, according to an Indian Express report.

Covering vaccination and the rural-urban gap.

Major cities and Tier 1 cities have good and fairly uniform coverage as people need to return to their usual lives such as travel and there are lower levels of vaccination frequency. A portion of people take both doses at more than the national average of 30 percent.

As for rural areas, the data from 243 BRGF (Backward Area Grant Fund), mostly from rural areas, show that there is great variation in vaccine coverage in different areas in different states. In some areas like Balrampur in Chattisgarh and Tiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu, the vaccine coverage is 8 per cent while in some areas in Jammu and Kashmir it is as high as 80 per cent

But there is no data showing that rural areas, in general, lag behind in vaccination. In fact, if data from 243 BRGF districts are to be believed, at least 80 percent of the population (according to the 2011 census) has been partially immunized, which is well above the national average. Hence, there is no sharp rural-urban gap in vaccination coverage. By increasing the population with the update of the census can lower the ratio slightly.

The road ahead

Even with India’s vaccination acceleration in the past three months, the way forward is to fully vaccinate the entire adult population by the end of this year, and to achieve this a daunting task, at least 90 crores doses must be given between now and December 31, almost as much as was given in The last eight months which means the same amount in a quarter of the time!

India administered the largest number of doses so far in September with Rs 23.5 crore. It must do much better if it wants to achieve on December 31 the goal. The pace of vaccination slowed again at the pace of the second vaccination dose declining in June, it got a big boost in July, it fell again in August, and it was on the rise after people who took the first dose crossed halfway. In the past four days, the number of second doses has outnumbered the recipients of the first.

Vaccination also played an important role in controlling the spread of infection and stopping the third wave. The number of daily cases dropped from 4,000 to 50,000 in 45 days and dropped significantly below the 20,000 mark in four months. The number of daily Covid-19 cases has not reached 20,000 in the past 10 days so far.

Vaccination does not necessarily guarantee protection from infection but it largely prevents hospitalization and avoids the chances of the disease turning dangerously high.

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