The state has given a single shot to 86% of its population, but 22 districts are below that average.
Mumbai (106%) and Pune (103%) are the only two districts that have administered at least one dose to more than 100% of their estimated adult population (the percentages are higher than 100 as people from outside these districts also got vaccinated there). Two other districts that have a likelihood of reaching that end point are Bhandara and Sindhudurg, which have given a single shot to almost 96% of their populations. Bhandara needs to vaccinate 37,000 while Sindhudurg needs to immunise another 26,000 in the next ten days to hit the milestone.
In all, 12.77 crore vaccine doses have been administered in Maharashtra since January, of which 7.87 crore have been first doses and 4.89 crore second doses. A break-up shows that 11 districts have reached more than 90% coverage, while another five have achieved more than 80% coverage. Around 16 districts have coverage in the range of 70-78%.
Footfall for first dose in dists has fallen, say health officials
The tribal-populated district of Nandurbar is at the bottom, with less than 70% coverage (69%). Of the state’s adult population of 9.14 crore, about 1.26 crore are yet to take their first shots. Dr Sachin Desai, the state’s immunisation officer, is hopeful of pulling off 50% vaccination of these 1.26 crore people by the end of the year.
“I think districts that are at the borderline of reaching 100% will do so in the next ten days. We have been pushing hard through the ‘Har ghar dastak’ campaign,” he said. At the current rate of vaccination, the state may be able to give first doses to another 60-70 lakh people by December 31. “By mid-January, we are aiming to cover everyone,” he said.
After hitting a high of 7.6 lakh daily average vaccinations in September, the drive took a major slump in October and November when the average dropped to 5.25 lakh and 5.38 lakh, respectively. It bounced back in the first two weeks of December when the daily average reached 8.8 lakh doses. A district official from Hingoli, however, said that with the year-end approaching, the response has started to slow down. “Many people have gone on holiday. Our health volunteers are finding many locked doors,” he said.
An official from Gondia said that more than 70% of their daily vaccinations now are second doses. “The footfall for first doses is low,” said the official, adding that Mumbai and Pune had the advantage of being big cities with higher volumes of available doses and more eager people to take them. “Districts with rural populations fought with a shortage of doses, hesitancy, and lack of manpower for several months in the beginning,” he said. State figures show that daily vaccinations have been in the range of 5-6 lakh for the past few days.