Fewer shots given, officials say ‘Eid holiday’ confusion to blame
- With a fresh stock of 85,810 Covishield doses on Tuesday, Delhi currently has 108,300 Covishield doses and around 184,000 doses of Covaxin.
The Covid vaccination drive in Delhi, which showed signs of picking up pace with an uptick in shots on Tuesday, saw fewer vaccinations on Wednesday. Officials attributed this to the Eid holiday, and to people not being aware that vaccination centres were functioning.
A total of 63,265 vaccine doses were administered through 729 centres on Wednesday, in comparison to almost 72,000 doses administered on Tuesday. On Monday, only 25,985 doses were administered in Delhi.
“The impact of Eid can be seen on the vaccination numbers. Most people may not have known that vaccination centres were running even on the public holiday. Some centres in hospitals, however, remained closed today,” said a senior official from southwest district.
In the last two weeks, the number of shots administered daily crossed the 100,000 mark only twice, and has dipped as low as 10,000.
The pace of vaccination has been erratic, with the Delhi government attributing it to a shortage of vaccine doses.
“At the beginning of the month, we were unofficially informed that the pace of the vaccination will remain slow because of a lack of doses. We cannot operate all our vaccination sites every day because we are getting fewer doses than we can administer,” said another official from South district.
The number of vaccines administered shot up in Delhi after the Centre revised the vaccine procurement policy on June 21, taking up the responsibility of procurement of doses for all states.
With a fresh stock of 85,810 Covishield doses on Tuesday, Delhi currently has 108,300 Covishield doses and around 184,000 doses of Covaxin. Only 20% of the Covaxin stock is being utilised for first dose takers to prevent a shortage for those coming in for their second dose.
“So far, we have completely immunised less than 10% of our eligible population in India. This is not enough to stop the transmission of the infection in the community and thereby protect those at risk of developing severe disease from death. At least 40-50% of the eligible population has to be completely immunised to achieve that,” said Dr T Jacob John, former head of the department of virology at Christian Medical College-Vellore.