After the government opened up vaccination for those aged 18 years and above, India's immunisation drive against COVID-19 has slowed down considerably with just over 17 lakh doses administered on Monday as states complained of shortages.
According to the health ministry data, over 18 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccines were administered on May 1, the first day of phase three of the vaccination drive when those between 18-44 years became eligible to get the vaccines, reported Deccan Herald.
"The seven-day average of jabs is only 22 lakh now compared to 37 lakh four weeks back- 40 per cent decline from its peak," said Rijo M John, the health economist.
India's vaccination drive had its peak on April 5 when health workers had administered 43 lakh doses in a single day. However, the vaccination drive has not breached the 40-lakh mark ever since and has been on a downward spiral.
Many state governments have complained of a shortage of vaccines as COVID-19 cases surged across the country. More than 2.5 crore persons in the 18-44 age group had enrolled for vaccinations in the first two days since registrations for the category opened up on the evening of April 28.
On April 27, health workers had administered 24.55 lakh doses of vaccines which dipped to 20.49 lakh on April 28. On April 29, 20.84 lakh doses of vaccines were administered. The numbers rose to 27.44 lakh on April 30.
India managed to administer 18 lakh doses on May 1, while on May 3, the number was 17.08 lakh.
According to the government, it had supplied 16.69 crore vaccine doses to the state governments as of Tuesday, of which 15.94 crores had been administered since the vaccination drive was launched on January 16.
The health ministry said more than 75 lakh doses were in cold-storage facilities with the state governments and an additional 48 lakh will be supplied to the states over the next three days.