COVID vaccine stocks empty at Mumbai centres; Centre to send 17L doses

Maharashtra minister complains many other states given more doses as Union minister finds faults with state’s ‘lackadaisical attitude’

Vaccine shortage is reportedly affecting inoculation drive in at least 26 of the 120 vaccination centres in Mumbai. Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani told media that vaccine stocks at another 20 centres are likely to last till Thursday (April 8). He said if more doses are not supplied immediately, all vaccination centres in Mumbai would soon shut.

The Centre has decided to send 17 lakh doses instead of the earlier-promised 7.3 lakh, media reports said. Maharashtra is the worst-hit state, reporting nearly 60,000 cases daily. State Health Minister Rajesh Tope, citing figures from the Centre’s latest release order, said, “Maharashtra has been given 7.5 lakh vaccine dosages only, while Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana etc have been given more vaccines than Maharashtra.”

Data indicates that vaccination centres in Maharashtra’s Sangli, Satara, Gondia and Chandrapur have also run out of doses.

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Also read: Hesitancy due to fear hampers COVID vaccination drive in rural Karnataka

On Wednesday (April 7), Tope had said the state’s stock would last only for three days. “Eligible recipients are being turned back from centres,” Tope had told the media. “We need 40 lakh vaccine doses every week. We can then administer 6 lakh doses every day in a week,” Tope said.

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said in a letter that Delhi, Punjab and Maharashtra are lagging behind in vaccinating eligible groups. “Maharashtra has vaccinated just only 86 per cent of health workers with the first dose,” Vardhan wrote, adding that only 41 per cent of healthcare workers in the state have been administered the second dose.

He said only 73 per cent of registered frontline workers and 25 per cent of senior citizens have got the first dose in Maharashtra. “The lackadaisical attitude of the state government has singularly bogged down the entire country’s efforts to fight the virus,” Harsh Vardhan said.

Meanwhile, many private hospitals in UP’s Ghaziabad, near Delhi, have stopped carrying out vaccinations since Monday. Many hospitals have pasted notices at their entrance, saying their vaccine stocks have exhausted.

Also read: COVID-19 vaccination at offices for 45+ from April 11

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