Coronavirus | Current rate of vaccination may not stem COVID-19 spread, show data

Analysis of data shows that States are not seeing a respite from second wave.

April 14, 2021 10:57 pm | Updated April 15, 2021 12:48 am IST - NEW DELHI

Between life and death: Ambulances were stalled in a queue for four hours at the gate of the 1,200-bed Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad on Wednesday.

Between life and death: Ambulances were stalled in a queue for four hours at the gate of the 1,200-bed Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad on Wednesday.

The current levels of vaccination are far from helping States see any respite from the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, shows an analysis of vaccination data from States. As of Wednesday, India had administered 111 million doses of vaccine and covered about 7% of the population with one dose.

There is not a single State in India where COVID-19 cases are not increasing, but some States show a slight slackening in the pace of increase.

As of April 12, 12 States and Union Territories had vaccinated over 10% of their population. Ladakh, with a population of 2.96 lakh, led with 22.48% of the population getting one dose. Confirmed daily cases have gone from 30 on April 1 to 102 on April 12.

Among States with a population of over 1 crore, Chhattisgarh has vaccinated about 14% of its population, but confirmed daily cases have nearly quadrupled to about 12,200 since April 1.

Kerala, with a population of 3.5 crore, has vaccinated 13% of the population but has seen cases go from around 2,100 per day to 5,600.

Bihar, which has a population of about 12 crore, has vaccinated only 3.6%. Confirmed daily cases there have risen exponentially, from about 200 per day on April 1 to about 2,800 every day now. Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous State, has also vaccinated about 3.6% of its population, like Bihar, and saw daily cases jump from about 1,000 on April 1 to nearly 18,000 as of Wednesday.

No threshold number

There is not yet a number to indicate a threshold at which vaccinations could contribute to a decreasing caseload. This is complicated by the fact that so far, vaccines have been shown to be far more effective at preventing critical illness and mortality rather than preventing infection.

In the United States, the infection rates have generally flattened or declined in seven States where vaccinations have covered at least 35% of the population, according to the Bloomberg vaccine tracker. Seychelles, the United Arab Emirates, Israel and the Maldives are four places which have covered over 40% of their population with one dose and where cases have declined or flattened, according to the same tracker.

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