‘Misleading’: Centre on media reports about missed Covid-19 vaccination target in India

Published on Jan 02, 2022 04:51 PM IST

According to the data furnished by the ministry, 90% of the eligible population has been administered the first dose of the vaccine and the coverage is at 65% for the second dose.

As of 7am on Sunday, 1,454,413,005 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in India.(Reuters | Representational image)
As of 7am on Sunday, 1,454,413,005 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in India.(Reuters | Representational image)
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The Union health ministry on Sunday responded to media reports about India missing its Covid-19 vaccination target – to vaccinate all eligible adults by the end of 2021 – and said that such reports were “misleading and does not represent the complete picture”.

Further, the ministry also compared the progress of the country’s immunisation program to that of other countries like the USA, the UK, France and Spain.

“In the fight against global pandemic COVID-19, India’s national COVID-19 Vaccination programme has been one of the most successful and largest vaccination programmes compared with the many developed western nations with significantly low population base to vaccinate,” the ministry said in a statement.

Also read | Omicron acts as natural vaccine? Experts say notion rooted in ‘pandemic fatigue’

According to the data furnished by the ministry, 90% of the eligible population has been administered the first dose of the vaccine and the coverage is at 65% for the second dose.

The 90% first dose coverage was higher than that of the USA (73.2%), the UK (75.9%), France (78.3%) and Spain (84.7%), the ministry said. However, the UK, France and Spain were ahead of India in their respective second dose coverage, the ministry’s data showed. The US, with 61.5% second dose coverage, was the only country behind India in the list shared by the ministry.

“Further, over 11 states/UTs in India has already achieved 100% of 1st dose vaccination, while 3 States/UTs have already achieved 100% full vaccination (both 1st and 2nd dose) against COVID-19. Many States/UTs are soon expected to achieve 100% vaccination very quickly,” the ministry also said.

The ministry’s remarks came after a recent media report in the BBC on December 31, titled “Covid-19: How India missed its vaccination target”, said that India missed its vaccination target of inoculating its entire adult population of 940 million with two doses.

BJP leader Prakash Javadekar first made the claim of full vaccination by the end of 2021 in May 2021, when he was an Union minister, the report said. Javadekar had made the remarks previously in response to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who had criticised the vaccination drive.

Notably, health minister Mansukh Mandaviya, in a written reply to Parliament back in July 2021, said that there was no fixed time-frame for the completion of the vaccination drive, however, also noted that the Centre expected all beneficiaries above 18 to be jabbed by December 2021.

As of 7am on Sunday, 1,454,413,005 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in the country. With the vaccination drive set to include people in the 15 to 18 years age group, Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya discussed the vaccine rollout in this age group and also the Omicron variant with state health ministers on the day.

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