Covid vaccines or virus, what’s spreading faster in India now?
India is in the middle of the world’s biggest Covid vaccination drive, and also fighting a second wave of infections that looks bigger than the first. In fact, on April 5, India became only the second country after the US to report more than 1 lakh cases in a day. Vaccines are crucial for slowing down the coronavirus’s spread and, by some estimates, vaccinating 60-70% of the entire population could get us to herd immunity. But three months into the drive, only three states have covered 5% of their population. TOI compares the pace of vaccination and the spread of coronavirus cases across the country.
Only 2 states past 20% of target
The current target is to vaccinate everyone in the 45+ age-group, and two doses are needed, per person, for complete vaccination.
With 30 lakh doses administered among 69.6 lakh people in the 45+ age group, Chhattisgarh is at 21.6% of its target. Gujarat is the only other state to have covered more than 20% of its target population.
At the other end, big states like Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Assam and Andhra Pradesh have not met even 10% of their target.
Among large states, Himachal has the smallest 45-plus population, followed by Uttarakhand. Uttar Pradesh has the the largest 45-plus population, followed by Maharashtra. Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan have administered the most vaccine doses as of April 4
More than 5% population vaccinated in only three states
No state has vaccinated even 10% of its overall population. Kerala leads with 5.5% coverage. Gujarat and Chhattisgarh are the two others past the 5% mark.
Four states past their previous peaks
If India’s first wave last September was big, the second is turning out to be bigger. The coronavirus is spreading much faster this time. Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh have already crossed their last year’s peak in daily cases and have all set new peaks for daily infections during the second wave. For instance, the 7-day average of cases for Maharashtra on April 5 was 44,624, which is also the highest rate of daily infections reported in the state since the first infections last year.
Other states getting there
Punjab is almost there while seven other states have crossed 40% of their last peak. On April 5, Punjab recorded new cases that were at 98% of its previous peak and the state stands on the brink of breaching its previous high of daily average cases.
4 large states at less than 20% of peak
While daily cases are increasing everywhere, they are still far from the last peak in some major states. In Delhi, West Bengal, Telangana and Jammu & Kashmir, cases are between 30-40% of the peak. Odisha and Assam are still averaging less than 10% of the peak.