Covid: Areas with more SC population are at least 20% less vaccinated

Covishield coronavirus vaccine | Photo: PTI
The government may be expanding its Covid vaccination policy, but it needs to make the process more equitable.

Although the government is now vaccinating nearly 3 million people daily, there is a wide gap in vaccination in districts with more scheduled caste population and areas where the scheduled caste population is less than average.

A Business Standard analysis shows that while Indian districts average 15.16 doses per 100 people, districts, where the scheduled caste population is higher than average, have administered 13.9 doses per 100 people. In contrast, districts with a less-than-average SC population have administered 20 per cent more doses (16.7 doses per 100 people).

 
There is a wide state-wise variation in vaccination as well. In 17 of the 33 states/UTs, districts with more SC population had a lower vaccination rate.

In Uttar Pradesh, for instance, districts with more SC population had administered 6.7 vaccine doses per 100 people, whereas districts with less than average SC population had administered 7.7 doses. In West Bengal, the difference was higher, with districts with less than average SC population administering 14.5 doses per 100 people compared to 10.3 doses administered in districts with more than average SC population. In Delhi, the difference between the lower and higher SC population districts was 7.9 doses, with higher districts administering 31.3 doses per 100 people and districts with lower SC population averaging 23.4.

Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Telangana were other regions that exhibit a divide.

In Bihar, the average vaccination across both category districts was the same. In Kerala, a district with more SC population has administered more doses (25 doses per 100 people) than a district with fewer SC population (23.2 doses).

In Assam, districts with more SC population had administered 12 doses per 100 people, whereas areas with a lower SC population had administered only nine doses per 100 people.

 
The population was derived using Census 2011 data on a district level. In 2011, 14.9% population across districts belonged to scheduled caste.



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