Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka are the states reporting the highest wastage of COVID-19 vaccines. India has so far witnessed a vaccine wastage of 6.5 per cent as part of its vaccination programme.
Among the states reporting vaccine wastage higher than the national average, Telangana is at the top position with 17.6 per cent. It is followed by Andhra Pradesh (11.6 per cent), Uttar Pradesh (9.4 per cent), Karnataka (6.9 per cent) and Jammu and Kashmir (6.6 per cent).
Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said states have been asked to use vaccines optimally as it is a public health commodity.
"Vaccine wastage has to be drastically reduced. Any reduction in wastage means inoculating more people," he said.
Tripura (2.2 per cent), Uttarakhand (1.6 per cent), Himachal Pradesh (1.4 per cent) are among the states achieving better results with the management of their vaccine supply.
India began its COVID-19 vaccination programme on January 16. Besides healthcare and frontline workers, people aged above 60 years and those with co-morbidities in the 45-60 years age group are being vaccinated currently.
As on 7 pm Thursday, 3.89 crore vaccine doses have been administered. The number of new COVID-19 cases has been on the rise for the last few days. India currently has 2.52 lakh active coronavirus cases and 1.59 lakh people have lost their lives because of the disease.