On Monday, India achieved a "historic milestone", administering more than 88 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses within a single day. According to Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, the maximum number of doses had been administered by Madhya Pradesh, followed by Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Assam. A day later however, the inoculation numbers had fallen drastically, with a little more than 54 lakh doses being administered in the last 24 hours.
The nearly 40% drop in vaccinations however has raised eyebrows, with many taking to social media to suggest that it was a "pre-planned" achievement for which jabs had been "hoarded". On Wednesday morning, several prominent individuals including Congress leaders have taken to Twitter pointing out discrepancies.
According to a PIB press note, Madhya Pradesh has become first state in the country to achieve more than 15 lakh COVID vaccinations against the 10 lakh target set on the Mega Vaccination Drive on International Yoga Day. Reportedly, the state inoculated around 17 lakh people on Monday. But on either side of this massive accomplishment, the numbers remained exceedingly low. According to reports, the data from June 20 and June 22 indicated that less than 5,000 shots had been administered on both days.
According to the Health Ministry, 29.46 crore vaccine doses have been administered thus far. The Centre however aims to inoculate all adults by the end of the year - a goal that would require nearly one crore vaccines to be administered per day.
While the All India Mahila Congress cited recent statistics from Madhya Pradesh's vaccination drive to allege that some states had "stockpiled vaccines from previous days to make 21st a propaganda event", party spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill hit out at the Centre.
Citing the drop, he tweeted that the BJP government "needed to realise that vaccination is not a one day wonder but 24/7 everyday wonder".
While there has been no official response to these allegations, Bhushan had earlier said that the record-setting number of jabs was the "result of coordinated planning in which state governments and Union government collaborated and worked very hard".
Madhya Pradesh for its part had set up state level control rooms and made over 8,000 vaccination centres functional for the mega rive. The Chief Minister had also visited several vaccination centres as well as holding multiple marathon meetings with officials over the last week or so.