India’s daily vaccination rate dips despite having close to 15.4 million unutilized vaccines

INDIA – According to the latest data from Co-win, daily vaccine administration in India has dropped to 37230000 doses from 61140000 doses as of the week between July 5th– July 10th.

Despite the decline in vaccination raising concerns, the government expects to maintain a daily average of 40 million-45 million doses in July with an estimated supply of at least 120 million doses this month.

The slowdown in vaccination is primarily attributed to some disruptions at Bharat Biotech’s Bengaluru plant which resulted in delay in supply of some batches of Covaxin that were expected in the beginning of this month.

“It is a new facility with large scale fermentation plant. The trial batches were disrupted during standardization process and therefore, the supply of Covaxin was less than expected. That has been sorted out now,” the official said.

Co-Win data shows the decline is mainly driven by a smaller number of people initiating first dose and a lower uptake in rural areas.

Between June 25-30, the number of daily doses administered in rural areas were in the range of 9.9million- 40.43 million. However, it dropped to 8 million-38.08 million doses between July 1-9.

In urban areas, the daily doses varied from 8.25 lakh-31.80 lakh doses during June 25-30, whereas during July 1-9, around 7.6 lakh -27.85 lakh doses were given.

Separately, despite the vaccination rate dip, health officials say that more than 15.4 million vaccines have not been used and are still across various health facilities in the country.

As of now, more than 372.2 million doses of COVID vaccine have been administered across the country with 32.3% of the population having at a dose and 7.8% being fully vaccinated.

Himachal state accounts for the highest vaccination percentage while Bihar having the lowest vaccination percentage at 62% and 21.6% respectively.

Under the new universal vaccination program, the government is hopeful that the vaccination dip will be recovered as well as have the unutilized vaccines effectively distributed.

The universal vaccination program is also hopeful that it will include a single intranasal vaccine that is currently under trials for its population to use.

This is after data from its preclinical trials published in the Science Advances journals showed that it can protect mice from SARS-CoV-2 virus.

“The currently available vaccines against COVID-19 are very successful, but the majority of the world’s population is still unvaccinated and there is a critical need for more vaccines that are easy to use and effective at stopping disease and transmission,” said Paul McCray, a professor of at University of Georgia, US

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