10 states face severe Covid-19 vaccine shortage. Here's a list
India is facing two of its worst possible crisis during the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic—record spikes in daily cases of Covid-19 and what several states have claimed a shortage of vaccine against the viral disease. Several states have reached out to the Centre for assistance as many claimed that their stocks will only last for a few days. Responding to the requests and concerns, Union health minister Harsh Vardhan has said the country has enough doses and urged state governments to put an end to “fear-mongering.”
States like Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand complained that they are facing a shortage of vaccines, while reports emerged from several other states that vaccine centres were shutting early or turning people away due to supplies running out.
India's severely-hit state of Maharashtra—which reports the country's highest cases and deaths—was the first to flag the vaccine shortage. Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope on Thursday said the state is facing a Covid-19 vaccine crunch and demanded 40 lakh doses every week from the Centre. The state reported 58,993 new Covid-19 cases, 45,391 recoveries, and 301 deaths on Friday. Maharashtra alone accounts for 51.23 per cent of the total active cases in the country, according to the health ministry.
Maharashtra minister Aslam Shaikh on Saturday said that the state received the least number of vaccines and a majority of vaccination centres were facing closure due to a shortage of doses.
Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh joined the list of state heads talking about the dwindling vaccine doses on Saturday and said that its stock will only last for three days. "Punjab is left with only five days of supply (5.7 lakh Covid-19 vaccine doses) at the current levels of vaccinating 85000-90000 persons a day. If the state is able to meet its target of 2 lakh vaccines a day, then its current supplies will last only three days," Singh said during the meeting, news agency ANI reported.
Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot also said the shortage of vaccines was a reality during a virtual meeting chaired by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi with leaders of states ruled by the party to take a view on their ongoing efforts against the coronavirus pandemic. The Rajasthan chief minister on Friday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that vaccine stocks in his state will last only till Sunday.
Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel also told Gandhi that his state will run out of the vaccine stock in three days unless the central government ramps up the supply.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday also red-flagged the shortage and said that the national capital has vaccines for 7-10 days.
Odisha's Covid-19 vaccination in-charge Bijay Panigrahi on Friday said the state is left with only two days of vaccine stock but expects to receive more vaccine doses from the Centre within two days. Speaking to reporters about the situation of vaccine stock, Panigrahi said, "We have 3.2 lakh doses of Covishield and 1 lakh doses of Covaxin in Odisha. With this stock, we can continue vaccination for two days. We expect to receive more vaccine doses from the Government of India within two days."
In Thursday's meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, chief minister Naveen Patnaik had asked the Centre to supply 10 days stock of 25 lakh vaccine doses.
The list of states also includes Andhra Pradesh, which sent an SOS to the Centre seeking immediate supply of at least one crore doses of the coronavirus vaccine and said its current stock would last no more than two days. Health officials on Thursday informed chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy that the state currently has just three lakh doses of the vaccine while on average 1.4 lakh people were being inoculated per day.
There were over one crore people above 45 years in the state to be inoculated but a shortage of vaccine has become a cause for concern, news agency PTI reported.
Jharkhand is facing a shortage of Covid-19 vaccines and is only left with stock for a couple of days, health minister Banna Gupta had said on Thursday. "We have stock for the next 1-2 days. We have made a request to the Union Health Minister and I am hopeful that he will provide the vaccines," Gupta was quoted as saying by ANI.
Uttarakhand and Assam
Officials in states such as Uttarakhand and Assam said they only had supplies for the next few days would be forced to close some vaccination centres if supplies are not replenished.
India, a major vaccine manufacturer, has so far administered 97 million shots but is facing major supply snags as it works to inoculate a huge population of nearly 1.4 billion people. Vaccine shots are currently limited to people over age 45 and frontline workers. India has exported 64.5 million vaccine doses of vaccines to other nations. It stopped exports last week to prioritise domestic needs.
The CEO of the Serum Institute of India, the world's biggest vaccine maker by volume, has warned that production capacity is "very stressed".