Need 3 crore doses per month: Maharashtra health minister highlights vaccine shortage
Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope said on Monday that the state requires a minimum of three crore doses of the vaccine against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) each month to inoculate all eligible beneficiaries at the earliest.
Maharashtra, which has been the worst hit state from the pandemic in India, has and continues to grapple with a shortage of vaccine doses which has led to the frequent shutting down of vaccination centres across. In May, the Maha Vikas Aghadi led state government announced that it will divert the doses procured for inoculating those between the age of 18 and 44 to give the second dose to 45+ beneficiaries.
And just last week, several vaccination centres were shut on June 30 owing to the shortage of doses, Hindustan Times reported. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) suspended the vaccination drive at its centres in Mumbai twice this month, on July 1 and July 9.
The frequent suspension of vaccination drives in Maharashtra has also affected the state’s inoculation rate.
Speaking to news agency PTI, Tope said on Monday that Maharashtra currently has a capacity to administer doses to 15 lakh people daily but only two to three lakh people are being vaccinated because of the shortage.
“Three days ago, we got seven lakh vaccine doses. The stock will be exhausted by the end of the day (July 12). We have got more than 3.60 crore vaccine doses so far and this includes about 25 lakh doses purchased directly by the state government,” the Maharashtra health minister added.
As of Sunday, a total of 3,65,25,990 doses have been administered in the state to eligible beneficiaries. On being asked about the scarcity of doses, Tope further told PTI that the authorities are working below their capacity and it is becoming a hand to mouth situation.
(With PTI inputs)