A day after achieving a record high vaccination of more than 90 lakh doses, India administered only 54.22 lakh shots of coronavirus vaccines on Tuesday, prompting criticism from the Opposition.
Data on the government’s CoWin platform showed that 54,22,891 doses were administered in the country on Tuesday. This was a drop of more than 40% from Monday, when 90,86,514 shots were administered. The numbers are likely to be revised slightly after the final figures come in.
Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Tuesday morning that India had achieved the “highest ever single day coverage across the world” with 86 lakh vaccinations. However, on June 9, Nature reported that China had vaccinated two crore people a day for more than a week.
Congress leaders have criticised the government’s claims. “Hoard on Sunday, vaccinate on Monday, and go back to limping on Tuesday,” former Finance Minister P Chidambaram said in a tweet. “That is the secret behind the world ‘record’ of vaccinations on a ‘single day’. I am sure the ‘feat’ will find a place in the Guinness book of records!”
“‘Modi Hai, Mumkin Hai’ [it’s possible if there’s Modi] must now read ‘Modi Hai, Miracle Hai’ [miracle is possible if there’s Modi],” he said in another tweet, mocking a popular poll slogan of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Former Union minister Jairam Ramesh said vaccinations should not be seen as a “one-day fixture”.
“Clearly, yesterday was a pre-planned, image-booster,” Ramesh said on Tuesday evening. “Today we have not sustained that level. We simply have to sustain at least 80 lakhs a day for the next four-five months.”
The Congress leaders’ comments were echoed by several others, including on social media. A Scroll.in report on Tuesday showed that Monday’s “record vaccination” was enabled by a slowdown in inoculations in some Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled states in the preceding days.
Data from CoWin showed that 17,44,657 doses were given in Madhya Pradesh on Monday. The state recorded the highest vaccination in India. However, in the three days preceding June 21, the state administered 14,862 (June 18), 22,006 (June 19) and a mere 692 doses (June 20). On Tuesday too, the state recorded only 4,842 doses – a decrease of more than 99.7% from Monday.
Tuesday’s drop could also be attributed to the state government’s announcement that it would not carry out vaccinations that day since it was reserved for child immunisation, according to Patrika.
Madhya Pradesh Medical Education Minister Vishwas Sarang said that the CoWin data for Tuesday accounted only for shots given by private hospitals, ANI reported.
He said government hospitals in the state were administering Covid-19 shots only on four days of the week – Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday – since the vaccination process started.
“On Monday, we organised a mega mass vaccination drive on this day...Tuesday is not our vaccination day,” he told reporters, when asked about the drop in number of doses. “The data you’re talking about was done by private hospitals only.”