Updated: September 18, 2021 7:49:41 am
Two-and-a-half crore Covid-19 vaccine doses were administered across the country Friday, the highest in a day since the drive began in India on January 16, in a push announced to coincide with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday.
A major chunk of the vaccines were administered in large BJP-ruled states, with Karnataka, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat accounting for more than 20 lakh doses each.
“Every Indian would be proud of today’s record vaccination numbers. I acknowledge our doctors, innovators, administrators, nurses, healthcare, and all front-line workers who have toiled to make the vaccination drive a success,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.
As per provisional data till midnight, 2,50,10,390 vaccine doses in all were administered Friday — taking the cumulative number to 79.33 crore vaccinations. With Friday’s record vaccinations, 63% of the estimated adult population has received its first dose while 21% are fully vaccinated.
Friday’s record was mainly the result of efforts anchored by government nurses and ASHA workers, deployed at the block level, for the mobilisation and administration of vaccines. In comparison, Australia, for example, has administered 2.38 crore doses in the entire six months of its immunisation drive.
“Under Prime Minister’s remarkable leadership the country has achieved a new vaccination milestone,” Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said.
Top government sources said that given the supplies expected from manufacturers, the tentative plan is to administer 100 crore doses before the second week of October. The priority is to cover as many people with the first dose as possible, keeping in mind the coming festive season and the elections due in several states.
Bihar was the best performer Friday, with 29.38 lakh vaccinations counted till Friday midnight. It was followed by Karnataka (28.90 lakh), Uttar Pradesh (27.15 lakh), Madhya Pradesh (26.44 lakh), and Gujarat (23.37 lakh).
These numbers were, incidentally, significantly higher than their daily average for September (till September 16): Bihar (4.94 lakh doses), Karnataka (3.02 lakh), Uttar Pradesh (10.28 lakh), Madhya Pradesh (3.98 lakh), and Gujarat (4.05 lakh).
As on Friday, three of these states had covered 75% of the population with at least a single dose of the vaccine: Gujarat (84%), Madhya Pradesh (80%) and Karnataka (78.5%). Uttar Pradesh (51.24%) and Bihar (55.53%) hovered near the half-way mark.
The non-BJP-ruled states that administered a high number of doses Friday were Rajasthan (13.05 lakh), Maharashtra (12.33 lakh), and Andhra Pradesh (10.85 lakh). This was also much higher than their September daily average (till September 16): Rajasthan (3.80 lakh), Maharashtra (6.61 lakh), and Andhra Pradesh (3 lakh).
States which administered more than 3 lakh doses were Assam (7.42 lakh), Telangana (5.20 lakh), West Bengal (3.90 lakh), Kerala (3.88 lakh), and Haryana (3.70 lakh).
The record vaccination numbers on Friday came against the backdrop of increase in the supply of doses to the state. On Friday morning, 6.17 crore unutilised doses were available with states. Due to the increase in supplies, all through September, India has reported a daily average of 74.4 lakh vaccinations, compared to 59.19 lakh in August.
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