Bengal crosses 12 lakh vaccinations in a day

Despite a stampede-like situation in a vaccination centre at Dhupguri in Jalpaiguri district where at least 25 people were injured on Tuesday, the state for the first time was successful in vaccinating more than 12 lakh people in a single day. In addition to that the state also achieved the feat of providing vaccines to 4 crore people.

Before this, 5.6 lakh jabs administered on August 27 was the highest single-day vaccination record in Bengal. August 27 was also the day when the state reached another milestone by crossing the one-crore second dose mark. According to health department officials the single-dose number is around 2.9 crore, while the number of people receiving both their doses is over 1.1 crore.

At the start of Tuesday, Bengal had 40.9 lakh vaccine stocks in hand and the state was able to vaccinate 1224594 people in a single-day. Till Tuesday night, 2.1 crore males have been vaccinated against 1.9 crore females.

“It’s a double bonanza for us today. We have crossed the four-crore total doses mark taking 29 days only for the last one crore doses. Also, we have vaccinated 12 lakh-plus beneficiaries today,” Director of Health Services Ajay Chakraborty said.

According to Chakraborty Murshidabad district where 1,45,147 people were vaccinated on a single day was the highest among the districts. Apart from Murshidabad, North 24 (86,859), Hooghly (81,207) and South 24 Parganas (70,891) districts were successful in vaccinating huge numbers of people.

Interestingly enough West Bengal is the third highest after Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in the country where more than 10 lakh people were vaccinated on a single day. Bihar is the highest where 22.6 people were vaccinated on Tuesday followed by Uttar Pradesh where 15.2 people were vaccinated.

However, though the vaccination program in the state is going well, due to the density of the population it has been successful in vaccinating only 40.6 per cent of the adult population which is lowest among the states. Kerala is the highest where 79.7 per cent of the population has been vaccinated so far.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had repeatedly stressed that given adequate vaccines, Bengal can scale up its vaccination drive to 10 lakh doses daily. In end-July, CM Banerjee had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi urging his personal intervention to ramp up vaccine supplies to Bengal. August has witnessed a substantial spike in vaccine supplies to Bengal by the centre. Vaccination was conducted at 4,864 sites on Tuesday, among them over 4,500 were government-run.

Bengal had an allotment of 95.7 lakh vaccines in August. It received 3.2 lakh more Covishield doses than its allotment of 83.7 lakh before the month-end. Bengal, however, received 2.1 lakh less doses of covaxin than its allotment of 11.9 lakh. But this was compensated by higher Covishield supplies. With vaccine manufacturers providing seven lakh additional doses in August, the state received over one crore doses last month.

“Fighting any pandemic demands herd immunity to be achieved at the shortest possible time. Hence, our target should be to vaccinate the maximum number of people at the shortest possible time. It is good that we are picking up this kind of momentum and we need to keep this pace up if the vaccine supply permits,” said a health department official.