While the government of Maharashtra is complaining about an acute shortage of COVID-19 vaccines, data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare says that the state has the highest share in vaccinations done so far in India.
India had administered 9,01,98,673 vaccine doses till today morning, of which eight states accounted for 60 per cent of the total doses. Maharashtra was leading with 89,49,560 doses, accounting for 9.92 per cent of total doses. It was followed by Rajasthan with 82,87,840 doses, or 9.19 per cent of total doses, and Gujarat with 81,47,689 doses, or 9.03 per cent of total doses.
India administered 30 lakh doses in the preceding 24 hours as on Thursday morning. However, daily new cases continued to rise with 1,26,789 new cases. Of this, Maharashtra accounted for 59,907 cases (55.26 per cent of all new cases) and 322 deaths.
Meanwhile, as per reports, many vaccination centres in Maharashtra, including 23 in Navi Mumbai, have been shut due to vaccine shortage, forcing Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar to speak to Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan to resolve the issue. Pune also shut over 100 vaccination centres because of vaccine shortage, NCP MP Supriya Sule tweeted, turning the issue into a political battle.
According to Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope, the state has vaccine stock for only three days. He said Maharashtra requires 40 lakh vaccine doses per week and 1.6 crore per month to inoculate its population, which is double of Gujarat. However, he said, both Gujarat and Maharashtra have been supplied 1 crore doses each so far, and called this unfair.
Meanwhile, Harsh Vardhan retaliated saying that the state is making false claims to divert attention from its mismanagement of the outbreak. The country has more than 43 million COVID-19 vaccine doses in stock or in 'pipeline', according to the Union Health Minister.
Serum Institute, which produces 60-65 million vaccine doses per month, has given around 100 million doses to the Centre. According to Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute, the company is under strain to increase capacity and it also has to meet international supply contracts. Bharat Biotech, the only other approved manufacturer in India currently, is also in the process of augmenting its vaccine capacity.
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