Centre gets rebuttals from Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh on vaccine wastage data
Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren said the Covid vaccine wastage in the state was 4.65%, well before the national average. Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel put the state’s vaccine wastage at between 0.83% and 0.63%,
Ranchi/Raipur: Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh on Wednesday rebutted the Union health ministry that blamed the two states for wasting one-third of the Covid-19 vaccines made available to them, saying the real wastage numbers were well below the national average.
The rejoinders came a day after the Union health ministry counted the two states among the five that have wasted the largest proportion of vaccines, prompting critics of the two opposition-ruled states to mount an offensive against them.
Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren was the first to send out his rebuttal on Wednesday.
“As per total vaccine doses availability with Govt in Jharkhand till today, the current vaccine wastage proportion is only 4.65%,” chief minister Soren tweeted on Wednesday afternoon. His office said the state wasn’t able to update the entire data to the central Co-Win server/platform due to technical difficulties and glitches.
In a detailed statement on Union health minister Harsh Vardhan’s meeting with states to review the progress of vaccination on Tuesday, the Union health ministry nudged states to reduce vaccine wastage.
“Whereas States has been urged repeatedly, to keep vaccine wastage below 1%, many States such as Jharkhand (37.3%), Chhattisgarh (30.2%), Tamil Nadu (15.5%), Jammu and Kashmir (10.8%), Madhya Pradesh (10.7%) are reporting much higher wastage than the national average (6.3%),” the Centre’s statement said.
By Wednesday evening, Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel’s office also put out his rejoinder on Twitter.
“This data is incorrect. We have already written to @MoHFW_INDIA (Union health ministry) regarding the same. Our team is in touch with @MoHFW_INDIA to resolve the data issues,” he said on Twitter.
Baghel also put out the letter sent to Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan last week after a reference was made to high wastage in Chhattisgarh at an earlier review meeting on 21 May.
“The fact is that the percentage of wastage of the vaccines funded by the Centre is 0.81, while in the direct state procurement category, it is 0.63 per cent,” a statement issued by the Chhattisgarh government said.
In a letter that asked the health ministry to update its data, Chhattisgarh health secretary Dr Alok Shukla said the state had received 68,40,210 vaccine doses from the Centre, of which, 61,67,632 shots were administered, while 55,608 were wasted, which is 0.81 per cent, the release stated.
“Apart from this, the state government had received 7,97,110 doses for the 18-44 age category, of which 6,66,101 had been administered, while 5,039 shots were wasted, which comes to 0.63 per cent,” the release stated.