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Days after Centre's statement, Delhi and other states claim vaccine shortage

Government data shows a drop in average daily inoculation since June 21, when the Covid-19 vaccine drive was opened to everyone above 18 years of age.
By hindustantimes.com | Written by Joydeep Bose
PUBLISHED ON JUL 13, 2021 08:13 AM IST
A medical staff prepares a jab of the Covishield, AstraZeneca-Oxford's Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine. (AFP)

Delhi has run out of its stocks for the Covishield vaccine against coronavirus disease (Covid-19), news agency PTI reported on Monday night, citing officials familiar with the matter. Manish Sisodia, the deputy chief minister of Delhi, also took to his official handle on Twitter to inform denizens regarding the vaccine shortage in the national capital.

'Covishield' is the brand name for the AstraZeneca-Oxford University Covid-19 vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) in Maharashtra's Pune.

Also Read | Amid cabinet reshuffle, health ministry again issues statement over vaccine shortage claims

Highlighting that Covishield vaccine stocks have run out in Delhi, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia claimed that the central government only provides stocks that last a day or two, at max. "Vaccines have run out in Delhi again," Sisodia wrote in his tweet, "The central government gives vaccines for a day or two, then we have to keep the vaccine centres closed for several days."

Delhi's Covishield Covid-19 vaccine stocks keep running out from time to time, the deputy chief minister said, asking why is it that India's vaccination drive is faltering even after days since its inception.

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"Why is our country's vaccine programme faltering even after so many days?" Sisodia tweeted.

Not just Delhi, several states have flagged an acute shortage in Covid-19 vaccine supply over the past several days, crippling the inoculation drive.

Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope told news agency PTI that the state has the capacity to vaccinate 1.5 million people daily, but as of now, only 200,000 to 300,000 people are being inoculated due to a shortage of stock. In Odisha, the drive was halted in 24 out of 30 districts with state health secretary P K Mohapatra saying that the next consignment of the Covishield vaccine was expected to arrive on July 15.

Also Read | Odisha, MP halt vaccination as states complain of vaccine shortage

The central government, however, has refuted claims of Covid-19 vaccine shortage and clarified that all states and Union territories are informed well in advance about the number of vaccines to be sent to them for the month of July. In an official statement last week, the health ministry said, "It is clarified that all states or UTs are being informed much in advance about the doses that will be available during the month of July 2021, including the supply to private hospitals. The states or UTs have been advised to plan their Covid-19 vaccination sessions based on the availability of the vaccines."

Government data shows a drop in average daily inoculation since June 21, when the drive was opened to everyone above 18 years of age. As per data available on the Centre's Co-WIN platform, 1.33 million doses were administered on Sunday, which is the lowest since May 30 when 1.11 million doses were administered.

An average of 6.21 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines was administered daily in the last week of June which dropped to 4.18 million in the first few days of July. Between July 5 and 11, the daily average vaccine doses further dipped to 3.50 million doses.

(With inputs from PTI)

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