May Saw India’s Daily Vaccination Drop by 34% Amid Shortage, Monthly Doses Fell Too

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India expanded its coronavirus vaccination drive last month to include all adults, but the pace has since considerably slowed down due to shortage of doses as flagged by several state governments.

In April, when the vaccination drive was opened up for 34.5 crore Indians aged above 45 years of age, 8.98 crore doses were administered. But in the month of May, the vaccination figures dropped by 32 per cent as only 6.10 crore doses could be administered, showed Union health ministry data.

This apart, daily vaccination declined even more, by 34 per cent in May.

In April, 29.95 lakh vaccine doses were administered per day, while in May, the number reduced to 19.69 lakh, the data showed.

While April saw the vaccination peak with 43 lakh vaccine doses administered on April 5, the month of May saw just seven days when the daily vaccination crossed the daily figures of April.

In April, daily vaccination crossed 30 lakh doses on 13 days, as compared to May when it happened just on two days.

Can June be a better month for vaccination?

There seems to be some hope to bump up vaccination in June when India can possibly exceed the number of total doses administered in April.

The Union health ministry on Monday said that states and union territories will receive nearly 12 crore vaccine doses this month: 6.09 crore for free and 5.86 crore through direct procurement.

This apart, Pune-based Serum Institute of India, who has manufactured Covishield, has said it would ramp up its monthly production capacity between nine to 10 crore doses in June from the existing 6.5 crore doses.

Covaxin manufacturer Bharat Biotech is also ramping up its production capacity and is expected to make between 10 and 12 crore vaccine doses by July end. Its current production capacity is around one crore vaccine doses a month.

Also, Russia's Sputnik V, the third Covid-19 vaccine approved in India, is also likely to be available by July-August. The vaccine, which is currently being imported from Russia and will be produced locally too, will add another 80 lakh doses to the existing stock.

4.48 crore people have been fully vaccinated

As many as 17.12 crore people have been vaccinated with the first dose so far in the country, while 4.48 crore people have been fully vaccinated.

In the 136 days of vaccination since it started in January, India has administered a total 21.60 crore doses: 15.88 lakh vaccine doses a day.

India needs to ramp up the drive significantly since going by the current vaccination data, it will take around 85 weeks or 20 months to partially vaccinate all adult Indian population.

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