File photo: Health Worker gives a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to a woman. (ANI)
File photo: Health Worker gives a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to a woman. (ANI)

Madhya Pradesh creates record, 1.64 mn people vaccinated in a day

Madhya Pradesh government created a record of administering Covid-19 vaccines to 1
UPDATED ON JUN 22, 2021 07:35 PM IST

Madhya Pradesh government created a record of administering Covid-19 vaccines to 1.64 million people in a day on Monday after a sudden drop of vaccinations in the past three days, experts said, claiming that data shows the state stockpiled vaccines to create the record.

On Sunday, only 4,098 people received the Covid vaccine jab, just 2% of the weekly average of vaccination in the state since the first week of May.

The weekly average of vaccination in MP is 1.5 lakhs or more since May 2 when vaccination for 18 plus started. For the first time since May, vaccinations touched a new low on Sunday, according to the data of the state health department.

Vaccination on Saturday and Sunday were below the daily average.

The state government officials said offers, which had been declared to invite more people for vaccination on Monday, and Sunday lockdown, were the reasons behind the low number of vaccinations on Sunday.

Member of Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, SR Azad, said, “There was a slow pace of vaccination in MP. After PM Modi’s announcement of a mass vaccination programme and providing vaccines free of cost, the state government swung into action and started publicizing the campaign in a new way. The focus shifted from daily vaccination to one-day record. Stockpiling is obvious because they have limited stock for vaccination. To grab attention and praises, the state government focused on vaccination on International Yoga day only.”

“All the districts administration, officers of different departments, politicians and social workers came out to motivate people and offer them something in return whether it is a free recharge or lucky draw. It is good but they should maintain this till vaccination of all. Like previous campaign, this shouldn’t be a mere ritual of one day,” he added.

Another activist, Rachna Dhingra said, “It is good that the state government make vaccination process a competition among cities and villages. But will they be able to sustain this? The chances are very low because for the ‘big-day’ they called National Health Missions (NHM) nurses and staff members, posted at different government hospitals, which is not possible daily. Similarly, how will they ensure the availability of the vaccines? If they maintain this, they can achieve the target of 100% population by December 31.”

Requesting anonymity, an officer of the state health department said, “It is wrong to say that the state government was doing stockpiling of vaccines but yes, the government was focusing more on Maha abhiyan. It was not the state government but the central government which wanted to create a record and that’s why we received vaccines in abundance before the big day and will soon get about 50 lakh vaccines. Earlier, we had to hold the vaccination campaign with maintaining the stock as we were not receiving vaccines in large quantities like we are getting now.”

Medical education department minister Vishwas Sarang said, “It is true that fewer people were turning up for vaccination whether due to fear about the side effects of the vaccine.”

“More people turned up for vaccination on Monday as we celebrated the day to end the fear for vaccination from the mind of people. The chief minister, BJP leaders, ministers, local administration, famous personalities and businessmen became part of this campaign to motivate people. Many collectors and private partners offered many things to invite people. Now, it will go on smoothly. Those who were misguided about the vaccination will start trusting us and vaccination.”

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