While more than 21 crore vaccine doses have been administered in the country, this constitutes only 12.4% of the population that received at least one dose and around 3.3% that received both doses. There are stark differences in vaccine coverage across states. Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, Assam with a combined population of more than 50 crores have given at least one dose to less than 10% of the population.
Vaccination for COVID-19 began in India on 16 January 2021. The first phase included Vaccination for Health workers & Frontline workers. Later, in the second phase, vaccination was opened for Senior citizens over the age of 60. With the start of the second wave and increased spread of COVID-19 infection, the vaccination was made available firstly for those above 45 years and later to those in the age group of 18-44.
As per the latest update provided by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW), around 16.86 crore persons received at least one dose of the vaccine. A total of 4.45 crore received both doses as of 31 May 2021. Overall, 21.31 crore doses have been administered in the country till 31 May 2021.
However, this constitutes only around 12.4% of the total population. Furthermore, only around 4.45 crores have received the second dose. While the Central Government has stated that the target is to achieve complete vaccination by the end of December 2021, the current numbers indicate that there a long way to go to achieve the stated target. Numbers also indicate varied performance in vaccine administration across the states making it a more challenging task.
In this story, we take a detailed look into the status of Vaccination across various States/UTs in the country and in different age groups.
Methodology: The population considered for the analysis is the Projected Mid-year population of states as of 01 October 2020, provided by the Central Government in one of its recent updates. The age-wise data considered is based on the 2011 Census. Since the latest age-wise data is not available, the growth rate of population is calculated by comparing States’ population as per the 2011 Census with the Mid-year projection in 2020, and this growth rate is used to project the latest age-wise data using the numbers from the 2011 Census.
Among the large states, only Delhi & Kerala have administered at least one dose to more than 20% of their population
Among the States/UTs with over one Crore population, only Delhi and Kerala have managed to administer at least one dose to around 20% of the population. The other states that have administered at least one dose to more than 20% of the population are the smaller States & UTs.
In terms of absolute numbers, Maharashtra has administered at least one dose to 1.77 crore persons, which constitutes around 14.3% of the population of the state. While Uttar Pradesh has administered at least one dose to 1.45 crore persons, it ranks the least in terms of the share of the population administered at least one dose with 6.33%.
Bihar, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal & Madhya Pradesh are among the highly populated States which have a lower share of its population administered at least one dose. These states largely contribute towards the overall lower vaccination coverage at a national level.
Less than 2% of the Population in Bihar & Uttar Pradesh have received both doses
As highlighted earlier, 12.4% of India’s population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The share of the population that has received both doses is much lesser at 3.3%.
An analysis of the states indicates that many of the states are doing better than the national average in terms of providing both doses. However, the performance of few large states is bringing down the national average.
In Uttar Pradesh, only around 1.5% of the population has received both doses while in Bihar, it is only 1.45%. Both Kerala and Delhi have vaccinated more than 5% of the population with both doses. While few other states fare better than Andhra Pradesh in administering at least one dose, Andhra Pradesh is doing better in terms of the population that has received both doses at 4.72%. Gujarat fares better with 18.4% of the population receiving at least one dose and 5.93% of the population receiving both doses.
About 62% of the population above 60 years has received at least one dose
After the Health Care & Front-line workers, senior citizens above the age of 60 years were given priority in vaccine administration. Data from across the country shows that about 62% of the population who are above 60 years have received at least one dose.
Among the larger states, Rajasthan was able to administer at least one dose to more than the projected population above 60 years. Gujarat & Chhattisgarh have administered at least one dose to more than 90% of their Senior citizens above the age of 60 years, as per the latest projected population figures.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh has administered at least one dose to only about 34% of the population in this age group. Punjab & Bihar are the other large states which have administered at least one dose to less than half of the population in this age group.
As highlighted earlier, the age-wise population projection is based on the growth rate calculated from the Central Government’s projection of the overall State population (compared to the 2011 Census). Hence, the projected numbers could vary from the actual population in these age groups and that is the reason the coverage is more than 100% in some states/UTs.
Most of the large States have administered at least one dose to less than 50% in the 45-60 age group
In wake of the second wave of COVID-19 infection in the country, all those between the ages of 45-60 years were permitted to get vaccinated. Prior to that, those in this age group and suffering from co-morbidities were also allowed along with the 60 + age group.
However, the proportion of those who received at least one dose in this age group is much less than in the 60 + year age group. Data shows that only about 38% of the population in this age group has received at least one dose.
Among the large states, Chhattisgarh has administered at least one dose to around 73% of its population in this age group. Uttarakhand, Delhi, Rajasthan & Gujarat are among the other states which have managed to administer at least one dose to more than half the population between 45-60 years.
In the rest of the large states, more than half of the population in this age group is yet to receive their first dose. Only about 1/3rd of the population in this age group received at least one dose in Bengal, while in the case of U.P, Bihar, and Tamil Nadu, this is less than 25%.
Need to step-up pace in major states
The Centre has recently opened up vaccination for all adults above 18 years. However, the data shows that only around 6% of the population in the 18-44 age group received at least one dose. Multiple factors like scarcity of vaccines, vaccine hesitancy, etc. are contributing to the low coverage.
In its latest update on 31 May 2021, the Central Government has stated that more than 23 crore doses were provided to the States so far and that around 1.75 crores are still available with the States. While the number looks huge, the coverage in terms of population that received at least one dose is only around 14% so far. Even in the 60+ age group, close to 38% of the population is yet to receive a single dose even after four months of the rollout. Few States with a large population like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu are bringing down the national average with their poor performance
There is also a need to understand the reasons behind the supply & availability of vaccines in states. For instance, as per an update on 11 May 2021, Uttar Pradesh had received around 1.5 crore doses, which is only around 7% of its population. On the other hand, Gujarat had received 1.48 crore doses whose population is less than 1/3rd the population of U.P. In other words, the supply of vaccines for Gujarat as a share of the population was thrice that of U.P.
Though various parameters are taken into consideration by the Central government including the severity of the COVID-19 infection, wastage, speed of administration, etc., such stark differences in supply are strange. There is a dire need to re-look at the allocation & ensure some form of equitable distribution across states. Unless a certain threshold in each state is vaccinated, the country might experience further waves of COVID-19 which can then spread from one state to another.
In addition to distribution, the other big issue is the availability of vaccines. We had earlier written about the current procurement and the estimated demand in various age groups. Unless there is a huge ramp-up in the production & procurement of vaccines, it will be difficult to cater to the demand. Such scarcity will eventually discourage people from taking the vaccine.
Special focus is needed to counter vaccine hesitancy among the rural & vulnerable population, especially in the wake of multiple reports from states like the U.P. Adequate infrastructure to administer the vaccine should also be made available.
In the next story, we look at more granular data i.e., vaccination across the various districts to understand the trends in more detail.
Featured Image: Vaccination for COVID-19