Only 15 per cent adults administered COVID vaccines in Gujarat so far; process will take 3 years at this rate

Only 76.33 lakh of 4.93 crore people aged above 18 have received COVID vaccine in last 196 days. This comes to 15.88 per cent of adult population and 11.60 per cent of total population of Gujarat

Representational image
Representational image

Nachiketa Desai

Notwithstanding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of providing free Covid vaccination to all, only 15 per cent of the adult population have received the jab in the last six months in his home state of Gujarat. At this rate, it will take three years to vaccinate the entire adult population of the state.

Due to short supply of vaccines, the state government has been operating vaccine centres for only five days in a week. There have been long queues of people to receive vaccine shots in all six major cities, with a large number of people having to wait as long as 14 to 16 hours for their turn.

The government, which had made it mandatory for owners and employees of shops and business establishments to get vaccinated or face police action, was compelled to extend the deadline from July 31 to August 15 after trade and industry associations complained of facing harassment by the police. The Director General of Police had issued a warning to the business community that they would face prosecution under the Disaster Management Act and Epidemic Control Act if they did not have vaccination certificates.

Though the government claimed that Gujarat had achieved the highest vaccination per one million population in the country, only 76.33 lakh of the total 4.93 crore people above the age of 18 years have received the vaccine in the last 196 days. This comes to 15.88 per cent of the adult population and 11.60 per cent of the state’s total population. At this rate, it will take three years to vaccinate every adult person in the state.

Even those in the frontline category such as health workers, policemen and civic body staff have not yet received the mandatory two doses of the vaccine. As many as 19.67 lakh frontline workers are yet to receive the second dose.

As a ‘goodwill gesture’, the government opened the vaccination centres on August 1, a Sunday, which happened to be Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani’s birthday, for people whose second dose of vaccine is due.

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