Tamil Nadu runs out of Covid-19 vaccines, only 1060 jabs left in Chennai
Barring 1,060 vaccines in Chennai, all other districts have run out of vaccines in the state, Tamil Nadu health minister M Subramanian said on Thursday. This comes just a few days after the state had suspended and restarted its vaccination drive against the Covid-19 disease.
“The Centre has told state governments not to reveal vaccine stocks,” said Subramanian. “But if we don’t, people will wait in queues and feel betrayed. So it is only right to reveal the true situation as it is. We have been saying over the last couple of days that we are running out of vaccines.”
Tamil Nadu has so far received 1,01,63,000 vaccines and administered 97,62,957 vaccines. “The vaccine stock we have in hand is only 1,060 vials which are only in Chennai,” the minister said. “So out of 37 districts, there are no vaccines in 36 other districts.” He added that the Centre has said that it will send a consignment of 37 lakh vaccines out of which 6.5 lakh vaccines will be sent before June 13. “So we are expecting it in a day or two. Once we receive them, we will distribute them to the districts.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has revised the Government of India’s policy to procure and provide vaccine doses free of cost to states for everyone above 18 years from June 21. Subramanian said that chief minister M K Stalin has requested Modi to allocate more vaccines to Tamil Nadu considering the spread of the infection and its population.
Earlier on June 1, the state had exhausted its vaccine supply and announced that it was suspending inoculation between June 2 and 5 but the Centre sent about 5-lakh vaccines on the evening of June 1 and the vaccination drive continued.
Later on Thursday, Tamil Nadu received 85,000 doses of Covishield. “We distributed it immediately to districts,” said Subramanian. “We are told we will get about three-lakh Covishield vaccines tomorrow. If it arrives, we can continue vaccination for another two days, otherwise we will have to halt the drive.”