The pace of vaccinations is gradually increasing, but government data on second doses may be worrisome. While 786,000 people had received their first dose in the first five days of vaccination, only 43% of them presented for the second dose in the five days after February 13th.
Meanwhile, the total number of vaccine doses given in India reached 9.4 million as of February 17th. Nine states have given at least one dose to more than 75% of their healthcare workers, with Bihar (85%), Tripura (82%) and Odisha (82%) leading the way, the health ministry said. That’s less than 50% in eight states, including Tamil Nadu and Punjab.
As part of the population, Delhi (12 doses per 1,000 population) has the best coverage since Wednesday, followed by Jammu and Kashmir (12), Uttarakhand (11) and Gujarat (11). Nationwide, that figure stands at just 6.8, even though the total number of vaccinations in India is the fourth highest in the world. Israel has already vaccinated more than 30% of its population, data from our World show in the data.
The share of the fully vaccinated population is 4.5% in the US and 3% in Denmark.
One reason India lags behind is that it has given priority only to healthcare and first-line workers in the first phase. A larger portion of the population, the elderly and those with accompanying conditions will begin to take their pictures on Mars.
NK Arora, a member of a government task force in vaccination, said the slow pace was a deliberate attempt “to look for lemza.
The government also said the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization would consider the World Health Organization recommendation to increase the gap between the two doses to eight to 12 weeks in the Indian context.
As vaccinations were carried out, the total number of infections in India continued to decline further. The country added less than 80,000 cases in the last seven days, marking a minimum of eight months. Up to 42% of these cases came from Kerala, and another 30% from Maharashtra.
The momentum in the Maharashtra cases has alarmed state authorities. From less than 2,500 daily cases just two weeks ago, the state is again adding more than 3,000 new daily cases. The positivity rate has risen to 6.7% over the past week, well above the national average of 1.7%.
Six districts in the state recorded more than 1,000 new cases in the period, with Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur and Amravati surpassing 3,000, according to data collected by howindialives.com on Wednesday evening. Prime Minister Uddhav Thackeray has warned of a deadlock if residents clash over security protocol.
The point comes about a month after the gram panchayat election in the state without a 79% turnout.
Kerala had faced a similar blow following local organ surveys in December
That makes Punjab the state to take care of in the coming weeks. The state has just concluded municipal elections.
Half of all 654 deaths in the past week were in Maharashtra (37%) and Kerala (17%). Punjab recorded the third highest number of deaths (47). With this, the number of national taxes has reached 156,014 as of Thursday morning. About 10.66 million patients have been cured, while 137,342 remain under treatment.
Growth in Maharashtra is not the only major threat facing India. Four cases of the virus type in South Africa, which are said to be highly contagious and resistant to vaccines, have been detected in India.
Vaccine reluctance is also a risk, some of which appear after numbers lower than expected in the second dose of the vaccine and at a slower rate in some states. A study by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Johns Hopkins University has found that vaccine acceptance has seen a decline in India in recent months, from 77% in August 2020 to 68% in January.
This takes on importance as India prepares to enter the second phase of vaccination. The country’s generosity in exporting vaccines has gained global fame, but still needs to slow down its pace and build more public confidence to contain the virus in time and keep the risks away.
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