Despite there being a positive trend in the number of people being inoculated in NCR, there is a long way to go before the looming threat of a third wave can be overcome
The National Capital Region has seen a total vaccination of over 1.3 crore (1,32,44,640) which includes dose 1 and 2. Out of this, Delhi has the greatest number of vaccinations at 84.7 lakh doses administered till 5 June, which is far from exemplary where the total population is 2.04 crores.
In fact, those who have received both their doses are just over 19.4 lakh (19,45,284) according to the CoWin platform –governments vaccination portal – while those who have received Dose 1 are over 65 lakh (65,28,324). The most doses administered have been in North West district of Delhi with a total of 9,64,922 doses, followed by South district at 9,57,081 while the least number of doses administered have been in North East Delhi at 5,41,066 followed by Shahdara at 5,49,472 doses. These are also areas which are heavily populated with homes in close quarters.
With the looming threat of Covid-19’s third wave, a report by the State Bank of India says that the peak will arrive in the month of September 2021. “Going by the current data, India can experience around 10,000 cases somewhere around the 2nd week of July. However, the cases can start rising by the second fortnight of August,” the report said.
It also points to the current situation of inoculation, with only 4.6% of the population being fully vaccinated in the country. It further points out that while 20.8% have received one dose, it is much lower compared to other countries including the US which is at 47.1%, the UK at 48.7%, Israel at 59.8%, France at 31.2% among others.
In the neighbouring areas of Delhi which make up the NCR region, CoWin website shows that in Gurgaon a total of 15,00,000 vaccination doses have been administered. Out of this those given Dose 1 are 12,31,105 and dose 2 are at 68,895. With a population which reports claim is potentially a total of 17,40,740, Gurgaon seems to be on a pretty good track.
Another district from Haryana which falls under NCR is Faridabad which has administered a total of 9,30,918 doses, which includes dose 1 at 7,76,241 and those who have received both doses at just 1,54,677. This is comparatively small, unlike Gurgaon’s performance, with Faridabad’s population according to the 2011 census being 15.9 lakh – it’s safe to say that the number would be much higher now. Furthermore, looking at the stronghold of private players in the inoculation here, many may be pushed into waiting longer or not taking a free dose at all. Out of the total number of sites at 46, only 13 are those run by the government and 33 private.
Others in the NCR include Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad and Gautam Budhh Nagar, where Noida and Greater Noida fall. These two areas have seen a total of over 23 lakh (23,40,114) inoculated. Ghaziabad has about 27.3 lakh people eligible for vaccination. But at present just 1.59 lakh (1,59,742) of 2 doses have been given and dose 1 at 9,23,086 giving it a total of 10,82,828 vaccines administered.
Then Gautam Budhh Nagar has about 14 lakh people in the district eligible to take the vaccine. It has till now been able to administer a total of 12,57,286 doses; it has done better than Ghaziabad. Here 10,91,378 of dose 1 and 1,65,908 of dose 2 have been administered.
Interestingly, as was reported on June 21 when the central government started the free doses of Covid-19 vaccines to 18–44-year-olds a peak in inoculations was seen. This did not sustain for the days to come later. In Faridabad, while the doses peaked on June 21 to a total of 51,013 doses, with a majority (41,913) being taken by 18–44-year-olds this did not continue into the coming days. The only slight peak since was seen on July 2 with 18,909 vaccinations, on July 5 this was just 9,929 doses.
For Gurgaon the peak on June 21 saw a total of 84,622 doses administered. Those between 18–44-year-olds topped the chart here too with 76,685 administered followed by just 5,657 of above 45-year-olds and 2,278 of above 60-year-olds. July 1, then saw a total of 55,633 doses administered which became a measly 15,001 doses on July 5.
Ghaziabad at the same time showed a good peak from 21-26 June. On 21 June 28,634 doses were administered, the majority (23,241) like in other districts being 18–44-year-olds.
Gautam Buddha Nagar also saw an upward trajectory on 21 June when 20,036 doses were administered through to June 26 when 28,310 doses were administered. On July 5 it saw a total of 20,077 doses administered with 13,257 for 18–44-year-olds.
And while Delhi was not one of the areas to see a spike on 21 June, its vaccination rate has seen a rise in June, after the central government made vaccines for those above 18 free in government establishments. On June 26, Delhi administered 2,07,579 doses, and while the trajectory was looking good, we see that 5 July has seen just about 80,842 vaccines administered.
Vaccinations are vital, and CoWin shows booked out slots, but the availability of vaccines is better now than what we were seeing a month ago. While there is vaccine hesitancy, also contributed by reports of the side effects after the vaccines –Astra-Zeneca or better known here as Serum Institute’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin – people in cities are waiting for more options. One of them being Russian vaccine “‘Sputnik V’ which, while it has entered the country, has very few supplies for administration.
Twitter has many requests asking those who have tweeted having taken Sputnik in Delhi, on the hospital information. By the end June, private hospitals in Delhi started administering it. On CoWin only a few are available. One was at Madhukar Rainbow Children’s Hospital which had one dose showing for Sputnik for 7 July. At Batra hospital dates were booked till 7 July, after which no slots were being shown. Holy family hospital in Okhla at the same time had slots booked till 10 July and then again from 12 July booked until 17 July. While Apollo Hospitals has already inoculated over 1,000 people with Sputnik.
With the Centre having fixed the price of the vaccine at Rs 1,145 per dose, many will want to go straight to a government establishment to get vaccinated. And if experts are to be believed, the more people are vaccinated the lesser are the chances of another Covid ambush this year.