Covid-19 vaccine: What states claim about crunch in supply
Many state governments in India have complained about a shortage in the Covid-19 vaccine supply and have urged the Centre to boost the supply. However, the Union government has denied any crunch in vaccine availability and has accused the states of not properly managing the vaccine stock.
“Centre is allotting enough vaccines to the states in a transparent manner as per agreed guidelines. In fact, states are also being informed in advance of the vaccine availability. Vaccine availability is going to increase in near future and much more supply would be possible,” Dr VK Paul, member of the Niti Aayog, said earlier on Thursday in a press release, intended to address the myths regarding the vaccination program. “The behaviour of some of our leaders, who in spite of full knowledge of the facts on vaccine supply, appear on TV daily and create panic among the people is very unfortunate. This is not the time to play politics,” he further said, without mentioning any names.
On May 25, the Union health ministry said that vaccine wastage in some states like Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir, is higher than what was prescribed. The Centre asked states to keep the wastage below 1 per cent.
Here is a look at what some state governments have said about a shortage in the Covid-19 vaccine stocks:
Rajasthan: State health minister Dr Raghu Sharma on Thursday said that vaccination has been stopped due to non-availability of vaccines and would be resumed upon receiving new supplies, news agency ANI reported.
“For June, GoI has allotted 12.66 lakh vaccines (both Serum Institute & Bharat Biotech); with this combined quota, it won't be possible to vaccinate 3.25 crore beneficiaries as double dose and wastage makes vaccine requirement nearly 7 crore,” ANI quoted Dr Sharma as saying.
Punjab: The state joined Haryana, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand in denying the vaccine wastage data released by the Centre. Health minister Balbir Singh Sidhu on Thursday said that there is a shortage of vaccines in the state.
“We don't have vaccines in the first place. The supply that is being made to us is not at par with our demand. It is a matter of concern. It is a 'hand to mouth' situation for us almost every day,” ANI quoted the minister as saying.
Delhi: On Wednesday, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal in a tweet in Hindi said that there is a severe shortage of Covid-19 vaccines in the country and further said that had people been vaccinated at the right time, then the second wave could have been prevented.
His government had also shut the vaccination centres for people in the 18 to 44 years age group for four days citing non availability of vaccines.
Tamil Nadu: Chief minister MK Stalin, earlier in the day, wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking for complete operational freedom to the state government in running the Integrated Vaccine Complex (IVC), established by the HLL Bio-Tech Limited (HBL) in Chengalpet, Tamil Nadu.
He said that the facility would enhance the country’s vaccine production capabilities and also stressed on the need to ramp up domestic production of vaccines.