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Tribal vaccine coverage better than national average, Centre tells Supreme Court

In fact, more walk-in vaccinations are happening in tribal districts, says Health Ministry.

Vaccination coverage in tribal areas is “better” than the national average, the government claimed in the Supreme Court.

In fact, more walk-in vaccinations are happening in tribal districts as compared to the national average. The gender ratio for people vaccinated was better in the tribal districts, the Health Ministry said.

“Vaccination per million population in tribal coverage is better than the national average as on June 23. Ninety-seven out of 176 tribal districts are performing better than the all-India vaccination coverage,” the Ministry informed the court.

Statistics, as on June 23, presented in court shows that “doses per million population” on a national basis is 2,13,244 while in tribal districts it is 2,19,762. The male:female ratio is 54:46 (national) and 53:47 (tribal districts). The walk-in: online vaccination ratio is 78:22 (national) compared to 84:16 in tribal districts.

Remote areas

The Centre said “exceptional” coverage of vaccination was observed even in districts with the most difficult and remote areas and with higher proportion of tribal population. A chart shows that up to 86.5% of the Schedule Tribe population in Ladakh, Lakshwadeep, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Tripura had at least one vaccine dose.

The Health Ministry was responding to apprehensions raised in the court that online registration for vaccine slots on CoWin for those above 18 years would starkly reveal the digital divide between urban and rural/tribal areas.

The Centre said that out of 1,24,969 vaccination centres on CoWin, 93,044 centres, that is 74.45%, were located in rural areas.

Out of 17,10,18,010 total doses administered through these 1,24,969 vaccination centres between May 1 and June 23, 9,61,84,637 (56.24%) doses have been administered at the rural vaccination centres, the Ministry said.

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