Bihar needs to double-vaccinate its eligible population of 7.4 crore with nearly 15 crore jabs by December. It has only completed one-third of the job so far with total vaccination level at nearly five crore.
But on September 17, the state which is battling floods in many parts and heavy rains, came on top of the daily vaccination chart of the country by giving jabs to nearly 30 lakh people in a day. This was the biggest contribution to the country’s feat of 2.5 crore jabs given on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 71st birthday.
In doing so, Bihar also surpassed its earlier record of 27.6 lakh jabs given on August 31. The state on that day had run nearly 10,000 vaccination centers, which it increased to 14,000 sites on September 17. Bihar’s record of giving nearly 30 lakh jabs in a day is now shy of only the record held by Uttar Pradesh of 35 lakh jabs given on August 31. Yesterday, Bihar gave more jabs than UP which was at 27.5 lakh.
How Bihar Did It?
Nearly 28 lakh out of the total 30 lakh jabs were given in the rural areas of Bihar on September 17 with the government ensuring the vaccinators reached flood-prone areas as well in rafts and boats. People queued up even in heavy rains to take the jabs in many far-flung districts, a senior Bihar government official said. A record 2.27 lakh jabs were given in the district of East Champaran, 1.61 lakh jabs were given in Muzzafarpur and over one lakh jabs were given in Purnia. Nearly 20 lakh from 18-44 age group took the jabs in Bihar yesterday out of the total 30 lakh.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar while hailing the feat said he on June 21 had fixed a target of ‘6 month, 6 Crore jabs’ and that he was now confident that the state will surpass that target. “The vaccination job has been saturated to a great extent in the urban areas and we are now speeding it up in the rural areas. The graph of coronavirus is dipping in Bihar. We are running a campaign to motivate people to take the jabs,” the CM has said.
There is a long read ahead for Bihar so far with about 55% of its eligible population getting the first dose so far and only about 12% of the eligible population getting both doses. However, Bihar is hoping to complete the first dose job in the state by the end of October given the speed it has shown in recent days on September 17 and August 31.