New Delhi: With less than a month to go for assembly elections in five states, nearly half of the eligible adult population in three of the states — Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Manipur — is still not fully vaccinated against Covid-19, shows data on the government’s web portal CoWIN.
The Election Commission of India Saturday announced the schedule for assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa. The polls will be held between 10 February and 7 March, and the results will be announced on 10 March.
ThePrint’s analysis of vaccination data shows that except Goa and Uttarakhand, the other three states are lagging behind.
What data shows
We took the adult population based on the Census 2011 population projections for 2021 as the base for our analysis. Since there was no data available for Manipur and Goa, the figure for the estimated adult population was arrived at by counting the age of all persons aged 8-80 in the 2011 Census.
According to CoWIN data, as of 9 January, Manipur had the lowest vaccination rate in the country — only 10 lakh people (roughly 42 per cent of its estimated adult population of 23.4 lakh) — have been fully vaccinated.
Similarly, in Punjab, which has an estimated adult population of 2.7 crore, only 99 lakh people (44 per cent) have got both doses of the vaccine. In Uttar Pradesh, the country’s most populous state with an estimated adult population of 14.74 crore, only 7.85 crore or 53.3 per cent people have been fully vaccinated as of now.
India, on average, has administered both doses of the Covid vaccine to 63.07 crore people, which accounts for nearly 67 per cent of its total population. Only two of the five poll-bound states — Goa (88 per cent) and Uttarakhand (82 per cent) — have fared better than India’s national average.
The combined adult population of the three states is estimated to be 17 crore, of which only 8.95 crore adults have received the second dose. Nearly two crore people have not even received the first dose.
Clubbed together, these five states have an estimated adult population of 18 crore for which 36 crore vaccine doses had to be administered – but so far, 26 crore doses have been administered – and 10 crore doses are still left.
In Punjab and Manipur, the share of people getting the first dose of the vaccine has also been relatively low — 1.75 crore (77%) and 13.4 lakh (56%), respectively.
Reasons for low vaccination rates
Uttar Pradesh has at least one advantage over the remaining two poorly vaccinated states — about 89 per cent of its adult population has received at least one dose of the vaccine.
While roughly 92 per cent of adults in India have received at least one dose, in Punjab this figure stands at 77 per cent, and in Manipur at 56 per cent.
Officials from the Punjab health department had earlier told ThePrint that people had become indifferent to vaccines, which means it doesn’t matter to them if they are vaccinated or not. They had also said that strikes by ASHA workers and nurses also affected the pace of vaccination.
According to a report in Imphal Free Press, at the beginning of the vaccination drive, 19,37,628 people were eligible for vaccination. However, the number rose to 19.68 lakh, according to the latest electoral roll. Meanwhile, the Union health ministry revised the target to 23.4 lakh, which has deflated the state’s vaccination rates by almost 10 per cent.