TN orders 1.5 cr COVID shots to boost vaccination drive beginning May 1

Govt says it’s making efforts for free vaccination through more than 4,000 centres across the state

From May 1, the vaccine drive will be opened to people of 18-44 years of age.

Tamil Nadu, reportedly making the maximum wastage of the COVID vaccines, has placed an order of additional 1.5 crore of the jabs. Despite a wastage of 8.83 per cent – worst among the states – the state has 5,13,119 doses of vaccines available for the nationwide vaccination drive set to roll out on May 1.

The order for the 1.5 crore vaccines has been placed through the Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation Ltd (TNMSC).

Also read: TN hospitals see queues for Remdesivir as Centre ships just 30% of sought vials

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The state has already vaccinated 55.51 lakh people till April 27. In a statement on Wednesday, the state government said: “Tamil Nadu was the first state in India to announce free COVID-19 vaccination to the people. The state has accelerated the vaccination drive by inoculating people above 45 years and 55.51 lakh people have taken vaccines till Tuesday.”

It said from May 1, the vaccine drive will be opened to people of 18-44 years of age and efforts are being made by the Chief Minister to encourage free vaccination.

Also read: India records largest 24-hr spike of 3.6 lakh COVID-19 cases

Parts of Tamil Nadu have reported shortage of vaccines. Earlier, Tamil Nadu Health Minister Vijayabaskar said he has instructed doctors to give priority to people taking the second dose.

At least 4.5 lakh doses of Covaxin and Covishield were wasted in Tamil Nadu between January 16 and April 20, according to the state health department, which said a few days back that the wastage has declined to 5 per cent.

“We have been advising all hospitals to minimize wastage and due to this the percentage came down to 5 per cent at the start of this month. Vaccination is being provided by more than 4,000 centres across the state,” said a senior official.

As many as 2,01,187 COVID deaths have been reported in the country, including 66,179 from Maharashtra, 15,009 from Delhi, 14,807 from Karnataka, 13,728 from Tamil Nadu, 11,678 from Uttar Pradesh, 11,082 from West Bengal, 8,630 from Punjab, 7,800 from Andhra Pradesh and 7,782 from Chhattisgarh.

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