Notwithstanding the hype that Gujarat had vaccinated more than 2.5 crore just over a fortnight ago, it stands a poor 15th in the country in the per-lakh inoculation number while Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel admits the pace has slowed down.

Patel, who also holds the health portfolio, has admitted that Gujarat is receiving just about three to four lakh doses against the 9 lakh it used to get for a few days earlier.

He also admitted during an official visit to Bhavnagar on Saturday that the State had set up 5,000 vaccination centres after it started receiving nearly 9 lakh doses for a few days but now there are around 2,500. Small wonder, there are queues at vaccination centres across the State. “I have accepted earlier and concede even now that people are indeed facing difficulties in getting the vaccine doses and have to wait in long queues.

Gujarat, which is inoculating an average 37,400 people per lakh of population, trails several states and union territories like Kerala, Delhi, Lakshadweep and Goa. In fact, Gujarat’s bordering union territory of Diu and Daman has completed 100% vaccination.

The State also lags behind Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh which have covered 3.2 crore and 3.1 crore people. As on Friday, the State had given the first dose of the vaccines to 2.06 crore citizens and 56.17 lakh have got their 2nd dose, according to an official release by the State Information Department.

On June 30, 2.79 lakh people were vaccinated, which is little more than half of the 5.20 lakh doses administered on June 21, when the state allowed walk-in registration for the 18-44 age group.

Going by the district-wise scenario, there are discrepancies and regional imbalance in distribution of the vaccines. For instance, only 12.81 per cent of the population of Porbander is fully vaccinated, while this number is apologetically low in Botad and Tapi districts.

Meanwhile, a curious gender disparity has also been noticed in the vaccination process. According to the CoWin portal, Gujarat witnessed as many as 22.63 less number of women receiving the jabs than the men.

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Free Press Journal