Open data for India’s vaccination challenge

We added district level daily vaccination data to the open-access Covid portal we built last year.

The Challenge

India has seen an astronomical increase in active Covid cases since Holi (March, 2021). The country is nervous about a second lockdown. Rightly so, as it would be a blow to the already battered livelihoods of millions of informal workers after last year. Parallelly, the increase in cases is a nightmare for the already stretched health-care infrastructure in several cities. Policy makers are faced with the enormous challenge of vaccinating as many of the ~916 million adults across the country as quickly as possible.

Last year, around this time, with support from Emergent Ventures at George Mason University, we built an open-access Covid platform that policy-makers and civil society could use to both plan and evaluate the pandemic response based on evidence.

Given the crisis mode India has been in over the past fortnight, we have updated the district-level daily Covid infections and death counts on the Covid portal. We have also added district level daily vaccination data to the open-access platform.

As before, the continually updated district level vaccination and Covid incidence datasets are easily linkable to other aspects on the data platform — district level hospitals, beds, doctor and nurse populations, population density, sanitation access, and so on.

What does the vaccination data broadly tell us?

As of April 12th, the ratio of total vaccinations over the baseline vaccine eligible population in the average district in India was 41 people for every 100 individuals above the age of 45. Note that our district-level age-wise baseline population are based on the most recent round of administrative data available — the SECC. District level counts of the age-wise population groups, or even population density are useful metrics for states to allocate received vaccine supply.

As of April 12th, India had completed 96 million vaccinations. Most of these vaccinations took place in Nagpur, Thane, Kolkata, Chennai, Pune, and Mumbai, as one would expect.

The map below illustrates the distribution of vaccinations across districts in Maharashtra, given the concentration of the second wave in the state. Vaccinations have been concentrated in Mumbai, Pune, Thane, Nagpur, Kolhapur and Nashik.

The graph below charts the number of vaccinations per 1000 individuals administered across states (using daily vaccination data spanning January 16, 2021 — April 12, 2021). The numbers below are an indication of vaccination demand and actual take-up by state, and should ideally inform the vaccination supply by the central government across states going forward — the more dynamic and updated, the better.

The vaccine data described here is one of the many components of our open-access Covid portal. We are grateful to the open data community in India (especially and creators of the COWIN dashboard) whose work is crucial to build immediately usable, multi-dimensional, open-access data platforms. We hope the vaccination data linked with district level covariates will be useful for policy-makers at the center and state levels of government. We also hope that journalists will use the data to establish transparency and accountability in the second wave of the crisis.

— Alison Campion, Kritarth Jha, Sankalp Sharma, and Aditi Bhowmick

We develop cutting edge data sources and harness the latest analytical tools to help people in poverty around the world achieve their true potential.