Rahul Gandhi hits out at Centre; shares graphic to ask ‘where are vaccines’

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday launched a fresh attack against the BJP-led Central government and India’s vaccination efforts. Echoing his query from previous days, the Wayanad MP shared a graph on Twitter, wondering where the vaccines were. A day earlier, a similar post from him had evoked a furious rejoinder from Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan.

“Mind the gap” Gandhi tweeted, sharing a graph that tracked the country’s target vaccine rate in order to avoid a third COVID-19 wave. This was contrasted with the actual cumulative vaccine rate in the country. As per the graphic, while the two tangents had begun in close proximity and risen steadily, the gap had widened as the actual rate dropped.

A day earlier, he had used the same hashtag to remind that “July has arrived, vaccines have not”. This had prompted the Health Minister to wonder “what was Rahul Gandhi’s problem” and suggest that the Congress party consider a leadership overhaul.

With the Centre looking to vaccine all adults in India by the end of 2021, there should ideally be around 1 crore vaccine doses being administered on a daily basis. But while the Centre had repeatedly cited this as the target number, current vaccination trends are markedly lower. According to recent remarks made by NK Arora, chairperson of India’s COVID-19 Working Group of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation, the country has a window of around 6-8 months before the next wave hits.

43,99,298 vaccine doses were administered in the last 24 hours. With this, the country’s cumulative vaccination coverage increased to 34.46 crores, according to the Union Health Ministry on Saturday.