A medic administers a dose of Covishield to a healthcare worker, Ajmer, January 16, 2021. Photo: PTI
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced a ‘Tika Utsav’, or a vaccine festival, between April 11 and 14, with the purpose of inoculating the maximum number of eligible people in a short time. In a virtual meeting with all chief ministers, Modi said he believed the ‘Tika Utsav’ would help “create a sense of achievement” for people after getting vaccinated.
However, the number of new vaccine doses administered in these four days was lower than that during other intervals in April.
According to covid19india.org, the number of new vaccine doses administered on April 11 stood at 29,33,418 – much lower than new doses administered on April 8 (41,35,589), April 9 (37,40,898) and April 10 (35,19,987).
On April 12, 40,04,520 vaccine doses were delivered, but on April 13, the number dropped by 33% to 26,46,493. On April 14, the number of doses given stood at 33,13,660.
In the graphic below, the bars before April 11 show the decline in the number of vaccine doses administered during the ‘Tika Utsav’.
Union health minister Harsh Vardhan said that the country has more than 4.3 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses in stock or in the pipeline, despite several states complaining about a shortage of vaccines.
On April 12, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had written to Vardhan citing concerns over lack of vaccines in the state.
“Kerala has a 45-day action plan for vaccination, which requires two lakh doses per day,” Vijayan said in his letter, according to Indian Express. “But the state has received only 56 lakh doses of the vaccine and 48 lakh doses have been administered till April 11. The existing stock would meet the vaccination plan for the next three days.”
Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope last week demanded 40 lakh doses from the Centre, saying the state doesn’t have enough, Hindustan Times reported.
Meanwhile, The Print reported lack of COVID-19 beds and facilities, leaving patients gasping for breath in ambulances.
India is currently procuring two vaccines – Covaxin and Covishield – for the COVID-19 vaccination programme. It recently approved the use of the Russian Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine in the country.
India reported a record 200,739 COVID-19 cases on April 14, according to health ministry data. Deaths stood at 1,038, taking the total to 173,123.
The country’s total case load reached 14.1 million, behind only the US, which leads the global tally with 31.4 million cases.