Senior CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat today asked the government to procure vaccines, claiming that there is an acute shortage to the tune of 3.14 crore and 90 lakh doses respectively.
In a letter to Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, she said the Ministry should take urgent steps to ensure adequate supply of vaccines and restart full their production in PSU units which has been closed down.
Quoting an RTI reply by Health Ministry, she said there is a shortage of nine crore doses of DPT vaccine as against a requirement of 18.19 crore and 3.14 crore doses of tetanus as against 17.83 crore.
The procurement during the current year for both the vaccines were 14.13 crore and 13.69 crore doses respectively, she said.
While the procurement of measles vaccine was 3.88 crore doses this year, she said there is a shortage of 90 lakh doses.
"The crucial protection essential against diphtheria, measles and even against tetanus is gravely undermined by shortages to the extent of 17 crore doses.
"Shockingly, the situation which was bad enough in 2008-09 with an overall shortfall of around 14.5 per cent further deteriorated this fiscal to a shortfall between requirement and procurement of 22 per cent," she said.