New Delhi: Many states including worst-affected by the second wave of COVID-19 have complained of facing a shortage of COVID-19 vaccines despite the Centre assurance that there is no shortage. States like Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Telangana, Haryana, Jharkhand and Andhra Pardesh, have requested the Centre to send in more COVID-19 vaccines, to continue their vaccination programmes.
It must be noted that these states been reporting a rapid increase in new COVID cases in India. Eight states- Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala cumulatively account for 80.70 per cent of the new cases in the country.
Maharashtra may run out of COVID-19 vaccines in just three days, said Rajesh Tope, Maharashtra Health Minister on Wednesday. The state health minister added that if the Centre fails to supply them with additional doses, the state authorities will be forced to halt their coronavirus vaccination drive.
“If Centre government fails to supply the vaccines in next three days, then vaccination drive will be halted in Maharashtra. Only 14 lakh vaccine doses remained with State. Centre should provide 40 lakh vaccines per week, ” Rajesh Tope said on Wednesday.
He informed that at least 40 lakh doses are required to sustain the vaccinations in Maharashtra. The state health minister added that people in 20-40 year age group need to be vaccinated as soon as possible.
The Maharashtra Government suspects that there is a new, virulent variety of Coronavirus in the state, which needs to be identified. Tope says that the state authorities have been working on war footing to tide over the rising number of cases in the state. Maharashtra registered the highest daily new cases at 55,469, till April 6. It is followed by Chhattisgarh (9,921 cases) and Karnataka (6,150 cases).
Chhattisgarh’s Health Minister TS Singh Deo said that the state has only 2,00,000 doses of Coronavirus vaccines left, and the stock will only last till Monday (April 5). The state has closed down schools, colleges and state Anganwadis with immediate effect since Sunday, in view of a surge in COVID-19 cases in the state.
The state minister fears that if the supply chain is broken, the state would not be able to inoculate its people. So far despite dwindling supply, the state has so far inoculated 32,99,718 people.
Odisha’s Chief Secretary PK Mohapatra has written to the Union Health Ministry, raising an SOS over the stock of COVID vaccines. In its letter to the ministry, he said that the stock will last only for three more days and they are in urgent need of fresh doses. Mohapatra wrote to Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, urging him to look into the matter and send in at least 15 lakh doses of COVID-19 vaccines, on a priority basis.
The state, according to the health ministry, has administered 35,08,480 doses so far. Odisha recorded 791 new cases, the highest spike this year, and one person died due to COVID complications. The state government has announced a 10-day police drive in the state to strictly implement COVID norms in Odisha.
Telangana’s Health Minister Eatala Rajender, has also raised alarms over falling stock of COVID-19 vaccines in the state. According to Rajender, the state has no more than three-day stock of the vaccine. Telangana has so far inoculated only 16,17,774 people so far, but claims that it has the capacity to vaccinate 1000,000 people per day. The state minister said that they have not been able to reach optimal level because of the shortage of doses and have been able to inoculate only 60,000-70,000 doses each day. In the last 24 hours, Telangana gave 63,609 people their COVID shots.
The numbers led the Telangana High Court to pull up the state government on Tuesday. The HC has asked the state to ramp up RT-PCR tests as suggested by the court earlier.
With 2,099 new cases reported in the last 24 hours, the Haryana government claims that it has only 5,00,000 doses of Covishield and 53,000 doses of Covaxin left.
“We inoculate 1,00,000 people per day and we have enough Covishield vaccine doses for the next four days,” said Rajeev Arora, Secretary of the state’s Health Ministry.
The state has so far administered 20,02,989 doses till April 6.
Amid the surge in the number of COVID-19 cases across India, Jharkhand is also heading towards a vaccine shortage. The state government claims, it has only 3.5 lakh doses available in the state. Jharkhand has administered 20,06,269 doses so far.
The state on Tuesday issued much stricter restrictions from April 8 till April 30. Schools, except for classes 10 and 12, will remain shut during this period. All shops, restaurants and clubs are ordered to close after 8 pm. The state government has imposed section-144 in the state till April 30.
Jharkhand reported 1,264 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, while the total number of cases in the state rose to 1,29,596 while the death toll rose to 1,144. The state has administered 20,06,269 doses so far.
In Andhra Pradesh, Nellore has become the first district in the country to run out of vaccines, while two more districts are likely to run out of stock by Wednesday. The state has roughly only 3.7 lakh doses of COVID vaccine left in its stock, which are enough for just two days.
Andhra Pradesh Government has asked the Centre to release 1 crore doses immediately, as with its current consumption stands over 1.2 lakh doses. The state has so far given 32,66,611 doses. On the other hand, Andhra has registered a 20 fold increase in new cases. It reported 1,941 new cases in the last 24 hours, which took the total tally to 9,10,9431,941 cases.
Ghaziabad & Noida
Amid news of vaccine shortage in Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh, several districts in Uttar Pradesh have also reported a paucity of COVID-19 doses. Many vaccine centres in Ghaziabad and NOIDA have reported a shortage of doses over the past few days and have missed their daily vaccination target. They had to turn away recipients.