The past week saw a dip in daily vaccination rates across India. There was a flurry of commentary in response, with agitated views being expressed on what a poor job of vaccine supply the central government was doing. This is in spite of the daily average continuing to hold at around four million doses a day, along with the numbers rising once again in the past 48 hours.
Supplementing the outcry were numerous press reports stating that vaccination centres had to close down temporarily in many districts on account of a lack of vaccines. And as is the want in India, the matter developed a political flavour; returning to Thiruvananthapuram after an official visit to Delhi, the Chief Minister of Kerala was swift to state publicly that he had complained to the Prime Minister about the lack of vaccines in his state.
However, a detailed analysis of vaccination data reveals that such a cause for concern is misplaced. What the data shows is that much of the country, barring a few exceptions, is, in fact, well on track to meet its July target. Indeed, most of the states were actually ahead of the vaccination curve for the month, as on the morning of 13 July 2021.
Here is the data table:
The workflow employed for these calculations was straightforward and used 12 July (inclusive) as the cutoff date. The number of vaccine doses administered in a state until 12 July was divided by the number of vaccinations allocated to that state for the entire month. The percentage value calculated was then subtracted from 39 per cent, which is the number of days passed in this month (12/31 days).
The results are revealing:
First, we see that at the national level, India is just one per cent behind where it should have been by midnight of 12 July. 38 per cent of the month’s target doses have already been administered, with 39 per cent of the month being over.
Second, most states are ahead of their 12 July target. For example, Uttarakhand has already administered 54 per cent of the doses allocated to it for the month, which is 15 per cent more than where it needed to be on 12 July. Chattisgarh is just one per cent behind its target. Some of the smaller states and union territories, like the Andamans, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, and Sikkim, have already completed their target for the month, with 19 days left to go.
Third, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are only slightly behind their target as on 12 July (behind by six and five per cent respectively).
Fourth, the biggest concern is in Andhra Pradesh, where vaccination rates are lagging a full 16 per cent behind. Next on the list is Jharkhand, at minus 14 per cent. The third is Rajasthan, at minus 13 per cent. At fourth and fifth are West Bengal and Tamil Nadu.
Nonetheless, data of the past 48 hours shows that vaccinations are now rising again in these states, meaning that the drop in supply in the previous week was a temporary phenomenon which is now being covered up.
Consequently, the conclusion is that, although there was indeed a dip in vaccination rates last week, most states, and the nation as a whole, are on track to achieve, if not cross, the targets set for July 2021.
All data from Covid19India.org and MoHFW.
Venu Gopal Narayanan is an independent upstream petroleum consultant who focuses on energy, geopolitics, current affairs and electoral arithmetic. He tweets at @ideorogue.
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