Madhya Pradesh accused of 'slowing down' Covid-19 vaccine drive to achieve record high
The Madhya Pradesh government has been accused of "slowing down" its Covid-19 vaccination drive to ensure vaccination of a large number of people on June 21, the first day of the new phase of the nationwide inoculation drive.
Citing numbers from the Centre's own CoWin vaccination platform, publications like The Lallantop and Scroll have reported that only 692 Covid-19 vaccine doses were administered in Madhya Pradesh on June 20, which included 627 and 65 first and second doses respectively.
In the days leading up to June 20, the state's per day vaccination figures were put at 124,226 on June 17; 14,862 on June 18; 22,006 on June 19; and, finally, 692 on June 20. A record 1.6 million beneficiaries in the state received the jab on June 21.
Madhya Pradesh medical education minister Vishwas Sarang, has, however, denied charges of "slowing down" vaccination drive. "We ran a mega vaccination drive on June 21. Hence, it is obvious that so many vaccine doses were given on the day. We undertook a target of one million jabs, and administered more than 1.6 million doses. On June 21 itself, we had 2.3 million jabs, so why would we save jabs from the last few days?" Sarang was quoted as saying.
After more than 8.6 million doses were given on June 21, the vaccination drive slowed down slightly on June 22, with nearly 5.4 million doses being administered on the day. Data available with Hindustan Times shows 68,370 jabs were administered in Madhya Pradesh till 11pm on June 22, a decline of 96% from a day ago.
The new vaccine policy was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the nation on June 7. Under the new policy, everyone above the age of 18 is eligible for a shot, and the Centre is procuring and supplying to states 75% of the total vaccines being produced to India for free, to ensure vaccination of all adults.