TMC’s Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien on Monday took to Twitter to spread misinformation regarding the coronavirus vaccination drive undertaken by the government of India.
O’Brien, who used to host a quiz show in the 1990s, when an entire generation grew up being in awe of the knowledge he displayed back then, claimed that of the total population in India, not even half the population has been given one dose.
However, the data he presented is misleading.
In India, only those who are above the age of 18 are eligible for getting the coronavirus vaccines. Most countries, for that matter, are administering vaccines to only those who have attained the age of 18 years. Hence, to put things in perspective, the population O’Brien should be using as base should have been eligible adult population of India and not the whole population of India, which stands at little over 130 crore.
As per 2011 census, 30% of Indians were under the age of 15 and about 19.8% people fell within the age group of 15-24. That means, one could say approximately 40% of Indian population is under the age of 18.
That means, out of say 130 crore people in India, which is around 78 crore. Now, considering population would have obviously increased over the years, these projections would not be accurate. So let us assume total adult Indian population is about 90 crore.
As per CoWIN dashboard (the same source which O’Brien claims to have used for his misleading infographic), almost 70 crore doses have been administered till now.
Of these, about 53 crore doses have been first doses and 16 crore have been second doses.
Coming back to O’Brien’s claims, if say adult population in India is approximately 90 crore, or say even 100 crore (because, let us be generous), if over 53 crore people have received one dose, that means it is more than half the total adult population.
Essentially, ‘majority’ of the India’s eligible population has been given at least one dose of coronavirus vaccines. But to play petty politics, Derek used the total population as base, even though children, that is approximately 40% of India’s population is not even eligible for vaccination.