'Centre replenishes more Covid-19 vaccine than needed': Javadekar after Maharashtra highlights stock shortage
Amid the complaint raised by Maharashtra government about a shortage in stock of Covid-19 vaccine, Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday said that the supplies to Maharashtra are being replenished.
In a tweet, Javadekar said the Maharashtra state government “should not play politics over vaccination” and shared the numbers about the supply and consumption of vaccines in the state.
"Maharashtra Govt should not play politics over vaccination. Here are the facts: Total number of COVID vaccine supplied to State till date - 1,06,19,190; Consumption - 90,53,523 (of which 6% wastage - over 5L); Vaccine in pipeline - 7,43,280. Dosage available - nearly 23 lakhs," Javadekar said on Twitter.
"Central Govt replenishes more vaccine than what is needed for actual use," he said in subsequent tweet.
The Union minister's comments came after Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope requested the Centre to supply vaccine stocks to the state for inoculating 600,000 beneficiaries a day. He also noted that several vaccination centres across the state have been shut because of the shortage.
“The union minister Prakash Javadekar had asked us to double the vaccination numbers and had assured to provide adequate stock. We accepted it as a challenge and increased the daily vaccination to 450,000 lakh from 300,000. We will achieve the target of inoculating 600,000 beneficiaries in no time. However, we have started facing shortage of vaccine stock and have to shut down many centres across the state as there is no stock left," the health minister told reporters.
Earlier in the day, Mumbai city mayor Kishori Pednekar also raised similar concerns about shortage of vaccines in the city. “There is a shortage of Covid-19 vaccine doses in Mumbai. Yesterday, we had 1,76,000 vaccine doses but in the coming days, we will require more vaccines,” she was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Meanwhile, Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has said that the allegations about shortage in vaccine supply are “utterly baseless”. In a strongly worded statement, Vardhan said, “I have seen statements made by public representatives in Maharashtra about shortage of vaccines. This is nothing but an attempt to divert attention from Maharashtra government’s repeated failures to control the spread of pandemic. The inability of Maharashtra government to act responsibly is beyond comprehension. To spread panic among the people is to compound the folly further.”
Vardhan said that vaccine supplies are being monitored on a real-time basis, and state governments are being apprised regularly about it.