Is Centre’s vaccine allocation to States equitable?

Annapurani V Chennai | Updated on May 31, 2021

There have been complaints by many States that they are not getting the vaccines rightfully due to them

As part of the nationwide Covid vaccination drive, the Centre has been supplying vaccines to the States and Union Territories (UTs), to be administered to the public. But there have been complaints by many States that they are not getting the vaccines rightfully due to them.

We analysed the data to see if the allocation is equitable. Numbers show that the population of the State seems to be the primary consideration in these allocations and efficiency of administering vaccines is not being given enough weight. The method of allocation can be refined further. A formula can be used which is dynamic and captures the shifting case-loads in different parts of the country.

Who got the most?

According to the Centre’s press release, the allocation of vaccines to States/UTs is based on, “the extent of infection (number of active Covid cases) & performance (speed of administration). Wastage of vaccine will also be considered in this criteria and will affect the criteria negatively.”

Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and West Bengal were the top five States that received the highest number of doses, as of May 18.

Maharashtra received 9.6 per cent of the total doses supplied, Uttar Pradesh, 8.3 per cent, Gujarat and Rajasthan, 7.7 per cent each, and West Bengal, 6.4 per cent.

But it is not clear how the Centre is arriving at the numbers to be allocated. If the population of the region were to be the criteria for vaccine distribution, then Uttar Pradesh should top the list with 16.9 per cent of India’s population, followed by Maharashtra at 9.2 per cent, Bihar at 9 per cent, West Bengal at 7.3 per cent and Madhya Pradesh at 6.2 per cent. While Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra received a large share of vaccine doses, Bihar (4.7 per cent share of vaccines), West Bengal (6.4 per cent) and Madhya Pradesh (5.10 per cent) received a far lower share than that warranted by their population.

Efficiency of vaccine

If the efficiency of vaccine administration is considered, then Kerala should have received a far higher share of vaccines. Its efficiency (total doses administered divided by the total doses supplied) as on May 18th was 96 per cent. Rajasthan, Karnataka and West Bengal should also have received more vaccines based on this metric.

Likewise, if we look at the vaccination per 100 people of the population of these regions, then Kerala stood first at 24.2, followed by Gujarat at 21.9, Chhattisgarh at 20.9, Rajasthan at 19.8 and Karnataka at 17.1. Kerala received only 4.2 per cent of the total doses, Chhattisgarh, only 3.6 per cent, Karnataka, 5.7 per cent, whereas Gujarat and Rajasthan received 7.7 per cent each of the total doses.

The right approach

The supply of doses to States and UTs must be based on a formula that gives precedence to active case-load over population.

States that are more efficient in administering vaccines need to be given a higher share too. Because the active case-load is dynamic and keeps changing every day, the Centre must also regulate the share it provides accordingly. The formula used to make the periodic allocation needs to be shared with the public.

(With inputs from Monika Yadav in New Delhi)

Published on May 31, 2021

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

You May Also Like