Vaccine shortage hits Covid-19 inoculation in Jharkhand; health minister blames Centre
The Covid-19 inoculation drive in Jharkhand has taken a hit owing to “shortage” of vaccine supply leaving the eligible population hapless, even as health minister Banna Gupta on Wednesday accused the Centre of not providing enough vaccines to the state.
According to official figures, the state has been inoculating over a lakh persons for past several days till Tuesday, when only about 50,000 persons received the jab.
The vaccination drive was not conducted at various centres across districts on Tuesday and the trend continued on Wednesday, with daily inoculation numbers in the state going further down. As per CoWin dashboard, the central government’s online vaccination portal, just over 13,000 persons were administered the vaccine in the state by 5.30pm on Wednesday.
As per the state health department, only 99,920 doses of the both the vaccines, Covishield and Covaxin, were in stock till Tuesday evening.
“Another 58,950 Covaxin doses arrived in the state on Wednesday. Vaccination is being done as per availability of the jabs in the state,” said Siddharth Tripathi, nodal officer of the health department’s Information, Education and Communication (IEC) wing.
As per the schedule of vaccine supply provided by the Centre, the state will receive six lakh vaccine doses on July 2 and a total of 9.5 lakh by July 15. As per its pledge, the state is slotted to get 24.5.lakh doses in July, besides the 8.25 lakh doses for private hospitals in the state.
Jharkhand health minister Banna Gupta blamed the Centre for the slowing number of vaccinations in the state.
“The central government demands an advance plan from us, which we duly provide. We don’t produce the vaccines. It is the Centre that has to procure and provide vaccines to the state. What can we do in this? We want to scale up vaccination in order to protect the state from the possible third wave, but we don’t have enough vaccines. As per information, we will get vaccines by July 2,” Gupta said.
The minister also appealed BJP MPs and MLAs to lobby with the central government and ensure the state gets the doses at the earliest.
The state government has also written to the Centre, asking it to reduce the allocation of vaccine to private hospitals in the state to 5% from the existing 25%.