Covid-19 vaccine drive in lurch as Maharashtra waits for more doses from govt
The shortage of Covid-19 vaccine doses is expected to significantly impact the inoculation drive across the Maharashtra on Sunday, said officials familiar with the matter.
In a letter to the Centre on Saturday, principal secretary of the state health department, Dr Pradeep Vyas, sought urgent supply of Covaxin as more than 500,000 people, in the above 45 age group, are due for their second dose.
Earlier this week, the Centre supplied 1,150,000 doses of Covid vaccines. However, after inoculating 234,578 people on Saturday, 363,753 on Friday and 454,546 on Thursday, the state has almost exhausted its stock.
Dr DN Patil, state immunization officer, said, “We have almost exhausted the existing stock of 1,150,000 lakh doses we received over the last one week. We are expecting the fresh stock of more than 3 lakh (300,000) on Monday. We have been following with the Centre for the stock of more than 5 lakh (500,000) Covaxin doses for the people waiting for their second dose. The number of centres to be operated depend on the stock we receive from the Centre.”
On Friday, state public health minister Rajesh Tope claimed that if the Centre failed to provide them the fresh stock of Covaxin, they will be left with no option but to divert the stock meant for the 18-44 age group. “Out of 900,000 doses we received in the last two days, less than 100,000 doses are left. This has hindered implementation of vaccination drive,” he had said.
Minority affairs minister Nawab Malik said the Centre’s failure in supplying the adequate doses of vaccines in due time has left many in a lurch. “The Centre has been operating the vaccination drive through CoWIN app and has the data of the people due for the second dose, despite it there is no supply... It is unacceptable that lakhs of people are left in distress waiting for their second dose,” he said.