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West Bengal, Jharkhand and UP among states falling behind in Covid vaccination


NEW DELHI: India on Monday achieved a remarkable feat of administering 75 crore Covid-19 jabs. States like West Bengal, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh have emerged as the worst performers in the exercise so far.

Until Monday morning, West Bengal, with only 46.6% of its population covered with at least one dose of the vaccine, was at the bottom of the chart of states, followed closely by Jharkhand, where only 47.8% of the total adult population received the shots.

The country’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh hardly fares better, with less than 49% of the population having received the shots yet, which are being touted as keys to post-pandemic normal life. The country’s second most populous state, Bihar was only a tad better with a little over 50% of the 18-plus population covered with vaccination yet.

In Himachal Pradesh, 100% of the population has received at least one dose while in Uttarakhand this figure is 87%. In Kerala, where Covid-19 cases have begun to show some decline after a huge surge for over two months, a little over 83% of the population has been covered with at least one dose.

A health ministry official said while small states were expected to do better, the Centre was constantly guiding larger states to do better. “We have been asking the states to especially prioritise the 45-plus population for full inoculation and also urging the younger population to come forward for the shots in districts where coverage is better,” he said.

The official added that states had been asked to prepare district-level plans to raise the vaccination rate and special focus was to be given in districts with over 10% test positivity rate or those reporting more than 100 daily cases.

In the country as a whole, nearly 61% of the population has now been covered with at least one dose but the percentage of population which is fully vaccinated is just over 20%. The numbers achieved yet, however, make the government’s target of vaccinating all 94 crore adult population till December look distant.

In September, average daily vaccination so far has been nearly 72 lakh, way ahead of the July average of 43 lakh.