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Maharashtra closes 109 centres, Odisha 700 due to vaccine 'shortage'

BusinessToday.In     April 8, 2021

Several non-BJP ruled states have highlighted the problem of COVID-19 vaccines' shortages in some of their districts recently. According to Lok Sabha MP Supriya Sule, Maharashtra's Pune district had to shut 109 covid vaccination centres because the vaccines ran out of stock on Wednesday. Odisha, too, echoed the same sentiments. The Odisha government halted the vaccination drive in 700 centres due to the lack of COVID-19 vaccines yesterday.

In a tweet yesterday, Sule said Pune vaccinated 55,539 persons in 391 vaccination centres on Wednesday. However, several thousand people went back without being vaccinated because the vaccine stock was exhausted.

Sule requested health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan to replenish the stock of coronavirus vaccines as the cases in Maharashtra have continued to scale up.




Sule's remark has come after Maharashtra's health minister Rajesh Tope also underscored the similar problem of COVID-19 vaccines' shortage. Tope said that many inoculation centres were being shut due to the shortage of vaccines in the state, and they have 14 lakh doses which would last just three days.

"We need 40 lakh vaccine doses every week. We can then administer six lakh doses every day in a week. The doses we are getting are not enough," he said, adding the Centre should ensure that those in the 20-40 age group are vaccinated on priority.

Additionally, Odisha's Health Minister NK Das wrote a letter to Dr Vardhan and informed him the state has a stock of 5.34 lakh doses of Covishield, which can last up to two more days.

"Due to shortage of vaccine, we have to close nearly 700 vaccination centres in the state (out of over 1400 functional sites). Only 755 could be made active today," Das wrote it to Dr Vardhan.

He further asked to supply at least 10 day's stock, which is 25 lakh doses of vaccine, to the state for effective vaccination.

However, the Centre has rejected the claims, calling them "baseless allegations". In fact, the union health minister alleged that the states were trying to cover their "failures" and spread panic among the people by demanding vaccination for all without first inoculating enough of the eligible beneficiaries.

He said the "lackadaisical" attitude of the Maharashtra government has "singularly bogged down" the entire country's efforts to fight the virus.

"The inability of the Maharashtra government to act responsibly is beyond comprehension. To spread panic among the people is to compound the folly further. Vaccine supplies are being monitored on a real-time basis, and state governments are being apprised regularly about it. Allegations of vaccine shortage are utterly baseless," Vardhan said.

Over 8.83 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the country so far, with more than 13 lakh jabs given on Wednesday, the ministry said. According to Dr Vardhan, Maharashtra has vaccinated only 86 per cent of health workers with the first dose, while the equivalent numbers for Delhi and Punjab are 72 per cent and 64 per cent. He said 10 Indian states/UTs have done more than 90 per cent.

Also read: AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, blood clots link 'plausible' but unconfirmed, says WHO

Also read: 'Get your shot soon': PM Modi after getting 2nd COVID-19 vaccine dose

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