Amid cabinet reshuffle, health ministry again issues statement over vaccine shortage claims
- The Union health ministry reiterated that all states and Union territories (UTs) have been directed to plan their Covid-19 vaccination sessions as per the doses being made available to them.
Amid reports of coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccine shortage from various parts of the country, the Union ministry of health and family welfare has released another statement to clarify their stand, citing all states and Union territories (UTs) are informed well in advance about the number of vaccines to be sent to them.
In the statement – second one in this week, the health ministry quashed media reports claiming there was 32 per cent less vaccination in the past one week as opposed to the previous one.
“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,” the statement read.
The ministry also informed that after discussion with the vaccine manufacturers, it had already been conveyed to all states or UTs that they will receive “more than 12 crore doses” of Covid-19 vaccine in July.
“Till today morning, over 2.19 crore doses have already been supplied to all states or UTs from July’s supply,” the statement added, reiterating that the health ministry is informing the states “adequately in advance” about the supply of vaccines being sent to them.
According to the statement, states or UTs have also been asked to share their demand for vaccine doses with the Centre in case there is a need for more owing to increased coverage.
The ministry’s statement on Wednesday comes a day after it struck down media reports claiming Covid-19 vaccine shortage led to the closure of some vaccination centres in Rajasthan.
The Centre said Rajasthan had more than 1.69 lakh unutilised stock of vaccine jabs as of July 1, and under the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination programme, the state was given over 8.89 lakh doses of vaccine between July 1 and 6.
“In addition, Rajasthan would receive an additional 3,951,000 doses during the remaining part of July 2021. Hence, in entire…July, Rajasthan will receive more than 5,090,000 vaccine doses,” the statement by the health ministry read.
The Centre also clarified that Covid-19 vaccines being a biological product, its manufacturing process “takes time” and does not “translate into immediate supply”.
Last week, owing to vaccine shortage in Maharashtra, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and state vaccination centres suspended their vaccination drive in Mumbai. On June 29, 3,87,644 Covid-19 vaccine doses were administered in the state, which dropped to 2,56,019 on June 30, and rose marginally to 2,72,714 on July 1.
In Uttar Pradesh’s Noida, a government district hospital was flooded by beneficiaries, who flouted coronavirus norms, to get their jabs. Speaking to ANI, the chief medical superintendent said that the crowd was due to the hospital not getting enough vaccines for two days.
On Thursday, in a veiled jibe at the appointment of Mansukh Mandaviya as the Union health minister amid cabinet reshuffle, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “Does this mean no more vaccine shortage? #change”
Notably, Dr Harsh Vardhan’s resignation came as shocking to many as he was widely applauded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his management of the ongoing coronavirus crisis in India.