Gender gap in vaccination drive narrows

The gender gap in the vaccination rate among men and women narrows as pregnant women in India are now allowed to get jabs. The vaccination drive in India started on 16 January and as of August 4, at least 48.52 crore Covid vaccine doses have been administered, government data showed on Wednesday. Women have received about 47% of the 48.52 crore vaccine doses administered in India, nearly in line with the gender ratio in the country.

According to Reuters, Men have now received 13% more doses than women compared with about 17% in early June. India had administered the most number of coronavirus vaccine doses in the world after China, according to the government’s CoWIN website but lags many countries in terms of per capita inoculations. The country wants to immunize all its adult population of 944 million by December and has given at least one dose to nearly 40% of them.

Best performers

States like Andhara Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala and union territory of Puducherry, are the places where the vaccination rate was higher among women. States ensuring vaccination among its female population, 54.49% women have received doses in Andhara Pradesh, 51% in Himachal Pradesh, 52% in Kerala and 51% in Puducherry. 

Vaccination rate in pregnant women

According to Mint, the government said in on July 30 that over 2,27,000 pregnant women in India received their first dose of covid-19 vaccine. The state of Tamil Nadu leads the way with 78,838 jabs followed by Andhara Pradesh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka. On July 2, the ministry had issued guidelines to help states and Union territories opertionalise the covid vaccination programme for the pregnant women. This was followed by training of programme managers, service providers and frontline health workers to equip them to counsel pregnant women and their family during antenatal care about the importance of vaccination during pregnancy. 

However, there’s no regular data available on how many pregnant women are opting for Covid-19 on the official CoWIN portal. According to The Times of India, the Maharashtra government has requested the Union health ministry to introduce a pregnant women category to allow them to keep tabs on district – wise vaccination trends among pregnant women. All the developed countries have a post- vaccination record- keeping system in place for pregnant women. It is a pre- requisite for long term follow up and assessment, said an expert to TOI.

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