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Thursday, December 09, 2021

In 48 districts, first dose coverage less than 50%; Modi to review vaccination

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have a detailed review meeting with districts reporting low vaccination coverage on Wednesday, including these 48 districts.

Written by Kaunain Sheriff M | New Delhi |
Updated: November 1, 2021 7:23:05 am
A nurse administers a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine in Guwahati on Sunday. (Photo: PTI)

While over three-quarters of the eligible population has now received the first dose of vaccine against the coronavirus, 48 districts have been identified as lagging behind — with first-dose coverage still below 50 per cent.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have a detailed review meeting with districts reporting low vaccination coverage on Wednesday, including these 48 districts.

Twenty-seven of the 48 districts are in states of the Northeast, including eight districts each in Manipur and Nagaland. Among all states, Jharkhand has the most districts — nine — with less-than-50 per cent first-dose vaccination coverage, data from the Health Ministry show.

There is one district in Delhi on the list, and six districts in Maharashtra.

By Sunday, India had administered a total (first and second doses) 106,33,38,492 shots of the vaccine since it began the inoculation programme on January 16. First-dose coverage is estimated at 77.44 per cent, and 35 per cent of the country’s adult population is now fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

Modi’s meeting with the underperforming districts will take place the day after states are supposed to launch a ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ vaccination campaign — over the next month, a door-to-door inoculation drive will be carried out in these districts with the aim of achieving full coverage.

The ministry data identifying the 48 districts with an under-50 per cent first dose coverage is from October 27. On that day, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had also flagged to states that more than 10.34 crore people across the country had failed to take the second dose at the end of the prescribed interval, and asked them to accelerate second-dose coverage.

During the meeting, Mandaviya also asked states to “aim to cover all eligible with 1st dose of Covid-19 vaccine by end-November 2021”.


Amid bn doses, a spot of worry

The uneven pace of vaccination remains a concern in India’s achievement of administering over a billion doses. Almost three out of every five districts with an under-50 per cent first-dose coverage are in the Northeast.

According to data compiled by the ministry:

  • The nine districts in Jharkhand with less-than-50 per cent first-dose coverage are: Pakur (37.1%), Sahebganj (39.2%), Garhwa (42.7%), Deoghar (44.2%), West Singhbhum (47.8%), Giridih (48.1%), Latehar (48.3%), Godda (48.3%), and Gumla (49.9%).
  • The eight Manipur districts on the list are: Kangpokpi (17.1%), Ukhrul (19.6%), Kamjong (28.2%), Senapati (28.6%), Pherzawl (31.1%), Tamenglong (35%), Noney (35.4%), and Tengnoupal (43.7%).
  • In Nagaland: Kiphire (16.1%), Tuesang (20.8%), Phek (21.9%), Peren (21.9%), Mon (33.5%), Wokha (38.5%), Zunheboto (39.4%), and Longleng (40.4%).
  • Six districts from Arunachal Pradesh are in the list of 48: Kar Daadi (18.3%), Kurung Kumey (27.4%), Upper Subansiri (32.1%), Kamle (36.4%), Lower Subansiri (41.3%), and East Kameng (42.5%).
  • And six from Maharashtra: Aurangabad (46.5%), Nandurbar (46.9%), Buldhana (47.6%), Hingoli (47.8%), Nanded (48.4%), and Akola (49.3%).
  • Four districts in Meghalaya have first-dose coverage of less than 50 per cent: West Khasi Hills (39.1%), South Garo Hills (41.2%), East Garo Hills (42.1%), West Jantia Hills (47.8%).
  • Six other states and Delhi have a district each in the list of 48: Nuh (Haryana, 23.5%), Tiruvallur (Tamil Nadu, 43.1%), South Salmara Mankachar (Assam, 44.8%), Narayanpur (Chhattisgarh, 47.5%), North-West Delhi (Delhi, 48.2%), Lawngtlai (Mizoram, 48.6%), and Araria (Bihar, 49.6%).

Where second-dose vaccination is concerned, four of the eight large states have a coverage higher than the national average of 31 per cent: Gujarat (55%), Karnataka (48%), Rajasthan (39%), and Madhya Pradesh (38%).

The other four large states have done worse — Maharashtra (34%), Uttar Pradesh (22%), Bihar (25%), and West Bengal (30%) — are reporting second-dose coverage that is lower than the national average.

As of Sunday, 1.03 crore healthcare workers had received the first dose; 92.21 lakh had been fully vaccinated. For frontline workers, these numbers were 1.83 crore and 1.59 crore.

Official data show 10.96 crore people above the age of 60 had taken the first dose; 6.66 crore had got the second as well.

In the 45-plus age group, 17.47 crore had been administered the first dose; 9.62 crore the second dose.

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