India delivered the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to 76% of its adult population by the first week of November. But 48 districts are lagging behind with the first dose coverage yet to reach the half-way mark.

Half of these districts are tribal-majority. Twenty of them lie in the northeastern states of Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya.

According to the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, communities that are classified as Scheduled Tribes live in 558 districts of India. In 90 districts, they account for more than half the population, as per the report of an expert group tasked with studying healthcare in tribal areas.

Of these 90 districts, 24 fall in the list of 48 districts identified by the Centre with low vaccination coverage.

Among tribal-majority districts across India, Senapati in Manipur has the lowest second dose coverage, according to data from CoWIN, the government portal for vaccination registration. Only 3.8% of its population had received the second dose of Covid-19 vaccine till November 6. That day, for instance, only 78 doses were administered in the entire district.

Other districts reporting low vaccine coverage include Kurung Kumey in Arunachal Pradesh, Ukhrul and Tamenglong in Manipur, East Garo Hills in Meghalaya, and Kiphire in Nagaland. Outside of the North East,…

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