'Apprehension of deficient supply of Covid-19 vaccines baseless': Health ministry
Union health ministry on Wednesday said that full initial procurement of the two Covid-19 vaccines approved by India's drug regulator has been allocated to states and union territories. This comes days before the nationwide vaccination begins on January 16.
"Full initial procurement amount of 1.65 cr doses of #Covishield & #Covaxin vaccines have been allocated to all States/UTs in proportion of Health Care Workers database," the ministry said on Twitter.
In a series of tweets, it also said that there has been no discrimination in the distribution of two Covid-19 vaccines - Covishield and Covaxin - to the states and the allocation has been made based on the priority list of healthcare workers.
The ministry also reiterated the other general guidelines for vaccine distribution to the states.
The tweets come in response to a news report in which Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope had alleged that Maharashtra had received a lesser number of doses of the Covid-19 vaccines than what was expected to arrive.
“The need of vials for Maharashtra is 17.50 lakh for the first phase. We need slightly more vials because 10 per cent wastage is expected. But, we have received 9.63 lakh vials from the Serum Institute of India," Tope was quoted as saying by news agency PTI. He added that the central government had also asked him to reduce the number of vaccination centres from 510 to 350.
Denying such allegations, the Union health ministry said that only the first batch of vaccines has been dispatched and rejected all doubts about deficient supply.
"This is the initial lot of supply of vaccine doses and would be continuously replenished in the weeks to come. Therefore, any apprehension being expressed on account of deficient supply is totally baseless and unfounded," the health ministry said in one of the tweets.
"States have been advised to organize vaccination sessions taking into account 10% reserve/wastage doses & average of 100 vaccinations/session/day. Therefore, any undue haste on the parts of States to organize unreasonable numbers of vaccination per site per day is not advised," it further said.
Also read: 'Indians are not guinea pigs' says Manish Tewari
The ministry also asked the states to increase the number of vaccination sites gradually “as the vaccination process stabilises and moves forward.”
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