India achieved the feat of administering over 2.5 crore vaccine doses on September 17 to mark Prime Minister Narendra Modi's birthday, raising questions why the same cannot be achieved on a more regular basis.
When BOOM analysed the data, it emerged that on the particular day of September 17, some states administered 3-4 times the number of vaccines they administered daily. There was also an exponential rise in the number of vaccination sites that were available on the date.
States like Bihar, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh showed at least a two-fold increase in the number of vaccination centres that were active on the PM's birthday. Even Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand gave higher doses than their weekly averages.
Some states and UTs like Lakshadweep, Tripura, and West Bengal, however, gave half the doses of their weekly average on September 17.
Also, the total number of vaccines administered in the country on that one day varied across the official websites of the government. At midnight on September 18, the CoWin dashboard showed that the government had provided over 2.5 crore vaccines on September 17. China is the only other country that has given close to 2 crore vaccine doses in a single day.
The graph to show the monthly vaccine coverage that is displayed on the CoWin Dashboard showed only 2.14 crore vaccines which steadily increased to 2.31 crore.
The Health Ministry daily 8 am update also showed that India had given 2.159 crore vaccines in the last 24 hours. After it was brought to their notice, the CoWin dashboard had a notification saying the data on the dashboard is provisional.
Before September 17, India has only given more than 1 crore vaccines on three occasions. Questions are now being raised whether this surge in vaccination continues or was only specifically limited to achieving a statistical record on the Prime Minister's birthday.
States With Exponential Rise In Numbers, Active Vaccination Sites
While India had over 1,10,987 vaccination sites open on September 17, the number dropped down to 61,650 on September 18. It is interesting to note that there were only 3,471 private centres functioning on September 17, but there were over 3,721 private vaccination sites active on Saturday, September 18.
On comparing the active vaccination sites in the five states with the highest vaccination numbers on September 17, we found that the doses administered as well as the number of operational vaccination sites were four times and double the number, respectively.
As the vaccination sites increased, so did the vaccination numbers.
The states except Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh in the graphic below reportedly administered their highest ever COVID-19 vaccines. All the states administered at least two times their average number of doses they gave in the week between September 12-18.
This rise and fall in vaccination numbers warrants further research.
It does show that India has the capability to scale up its vaccination program both logistically and with support of human resource. If India continues to give over 1 crore doses daily, it could fulfil its goal of fully vaccinating the consenting adults over the age of 18 by early 2022. Vaccines are voluntary and not mandatory in the country.
States That Saw A Dip In Vaccines
Lakshadweep, Tripura and West Bengal witnessed a drastic fall in the number of COVID-19 vaccines administered on the PM's birthday.
While Lakshadweep has given over 1,000 doses per day, since Sept 15 it has been seeing a decline in the number of COVID-19 doses. The state of Tripura gave over 10,000 doses daily on an average gives barring on Sundays, only gave 3,108 doses on September 17. West Bengal that has given over 41 lakh vaccine doses in a single day gave only 7 lakh doses on the PM's birthday. A day later on September 18, the state gave over 12 lakh vaccines.
States Witnessing Constant Trends Of Vaccination
States like Maharashtra, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Delhi are showing an increasing trend in their vaccine administration. There are no sudden rises and falls other than on Sundays when most vaccination sites are inactive in all the states.