Delhi: Despite Covid-19 cases increasing, vaccination continues to drop

Despite the increase in the number of Covid-19 cases – Delhi recorded 1,506 new cases with a positive rate of 10.6% on Tuesday – the number of vaccine doses taken in the city has gradually decreased in the past two weeks. Across the national capital, 1.6 lakh doses were administered during the previous seven days, compared to 2.05 lakh doses during the seven days prior, and 2.07 lakh in the week prior.

There is usually an increase in the number of people coming in for vaccinations as cases start to rise, but this time it hasn’t. The number of people coming (for vaccination) has remained roughly the same. This may be because now in most cases only backup doses are on hold,” an official from the Delhi Health Department said.

District officials said earlier that getting people out to get the precautionary dose was a challenge as there was no need for a third-dose certificate, people became infected even after vaccination, and milder infections were generally reported.

The proportion of people who received their third precautionary dose — out of the total number of people who received their first shot — increased from more than 11.7% to 12.2% this week. Delhi’s coverage is still higher than the national coverage of 8.9%, according to the state portal CoWIN. But the national percentage rose from about 4% before doses became free for all adults on July 15 and beyond.

About 90,000 precautionary shots were given during the week to make up for most shots given in the national capital. The numbers have not increased significantly despite the government’s door-to-door campaign and the start of vaccination at the Mohala clinics close to people’s homes.

The center had allowed a precautionary dose for 18-59-year-olds when paying at private centers in April, but uptake remained low. Child immunization increased after doses were made free for 75 days to celebrate 75 years of independence. In Delhi, on the other hand, precautionary doses were made available free of charge to all adults by the state government shortly after the drive was opened to them.

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