Skip to main content

More Covid-19 vaccines administered than procured? RTI reply bares Modi claim

By Rosamma Thomas* 

The Narendra Modi government has done it before – data has been doctored or suppressed when it would have reflected poorly on India’s governance. Ahead of voting in the 2019 general elections, data about unemployment, which had reached a 45-year high, was suppressed. It was then released officially, once elections were over.
Prime Minister Modi is not renowned as an expert with numbers – he reportedly committed faux pas at Davos in 2018, that 600 crore voters had voted for him, when the total population of India is only 130 crore, with 80 crore registered voters.
Now, it appears that even the websites that the Government of India (GoI) operates may have lost the ability to count accurately – while the Cowin website that records the number of doses of Covid-19 vaccines administered in the country showed that 200 crore Covid vaccinations were administered by July 17, 2022.
In response to a Right to Information application from Rajiv Lather, HLL Lifecare Limited, the nodal government agency responsible for the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines, said on August 26, 2022 that only 176.47 crore doses of vaccine had been procured by July 26, 2022.
On March 22, 2022 "The Free Press Journal" reported that the protocol for disposal of vaccine stocks that had expired was not clear – lakhs of doses were set to expire, and it as yet not clear what process of disposal would be followed.
It appears that the websites that the Government of India operates may have lost the ability to count accurately
In February 2022, WHO criticized richer nations that were dumping close-to-expiry-date vaccines on poor nations. By April 2022 Serum Institute of India announced that it would halt manufacture of vaccines as it had built up large stocks as there was a global glut and 200 million doses remained unused.
By August 2021, there were already questions raised about the effectiveness of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which was sold by the name Covishield in India. By late 2021, South Africa, which had earlier ordered this vaccine, had stopped using it since data emerged casting doubts on its effectiveness. As the vaccine demand waned, by October 2022 AstraZeneca announced that it would focus more on drugs for respiratory infections and to treat cancer.
Globally, there are now calls to punish those who were responsible for compelling people to get the vaccine. Vaccine uptake in India too has plunged, even though the Cowin dashboard shows every day thousands of people continue to be vaccinated, and the numbers keep rising, with little clarity on the vaccination doses procured and used.
Rajiv Lather, who uncovered this information, questions if no wasteage occurred during transport or in storage. Besides, some doses were also exported to other nations as “grant”. So how is the government claiming that it has administered so many doses in addition to what HLL claims it has procured?
*Freelance journalist. Click here for RTI reply



AMR: A gathering storm that threatens a century of progress in medicine

By Bobby Ramakant*  A strategic roundtable on “Charting a new path forward for global action against Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)” was organised at the 77th World Health Assembly or WHA (WHA is the apex decision-making body of the World Health Organization – WHO, which is attended by all countries that are part of the WHO – a United Nations health agency). AMR is among the top-10 global health threats “Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is a growing and urgent crisis which is already a leading cause of untimely deaths globally. More than 2 people die of AMR every single minute,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the WHO. “AMR threatens to unwind centuries of progress in human health, animal health, and other sectors.”

New Odia CM's tribal heritage 'sets him apart' from Hindutva Brahminical norms

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Mohan Charan Majhi took the oath as the new Chief Minister of Odisha following the electoral defeat of the BJD led by Naveen Patnaik, who served as Chief Minister for twenty-four years. The new Chief Minister is the son of a security guard and a four-time MLA who hails from the remote village of Raikala in the Keonjhar district. He belongs to the Santali tribe and comes from a working-class family. Such achievements and political mobilities are possible only in a democratic society. Majhi’s leadership even in the form of symbolic representation in a democracy deserves celebration.

What stops Kavach? Why no time to focus on common trains meant for common people?

By Atanu Roy  A goods train rammed into Kanchenjunga Express on 17th June morning in North Bengal. This could have been averted if the time tested anti-collision system (Kavach) was in place. 

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Saving farmers and consumers from GM crops and food: Philippines court shows the way

By Bharat Dogra*  At a time when there is increasing concern that powerful GM crop lobbyists backed by enormous resources of giant multinational companies may be able to bulldoze food safety and environmental concerns while pushing GM crops, a new hope has appeared in the form of a court decision from the Philippines. 

Top Punjab Maoist who failed to analyse caste question, promoted economism

By Harsh Thakor*  On June 15th we commemorated the 15th death anniversary of Harbhajan Singh Sohi or HBS, a well known Communist leader in Punjab. He expired of a heart attack in Bathinda in 2009.