Vaccine shortage hits Mumbai as Maharashtra ‘heads for lockdown’

According to Mumbai civic body, some 71 of the total 120 vaccination centres have run out of doses

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Rajesh Dere, Dean at a vaccination centre in BKC, said last night they didn't receive today's doses | Photo: Twitter

Amid a steep surge in coronavirus cases, a vaccine crisis has emerged in financial capital Mumbai. Over 70 inoculation centres in the city have shut down after running out of doses, prompting protests outside such centres.

According to the Mumbai civic body, some 71 of the total 120 vaccination centres have run out of doses. Of them, 49 are run by the government and the civic body. About 40,000 to 50,000 people are vaccinated at each of these centres, reports suggest.

Rajesh Dere, Dean at a vaccination centre in BKC, said they receive vaccines a day ahead as buffer stock, but last night they didn’t receive today’s doses. Only 160 vials are now left at the centre, reports quoted him as saying.

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Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar said there are several vaccination centers that have zero vaccines now and vaccination has stopped there. “I’ve come to know some 76,000 to one lakh doses are about to reach Mumbai by today but don’t have any official information on this,” she said.

“The PM is serious and proactive about our issues but it seems that people under PM are not taking this issue with the same seriousness,” she alleged, adding that, “We’re doing everything possible to combat the COVID situation in a better way, increasing of beds and other amenities is being done on war footing.”

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Rajesh Tope, the state’s health minister, had on Thursday alleged bias in the distribution of vaccines among states. He had said that Maharashtra was receiving fewer doses than BJP-ruled Gujarat despite having double their population. However, Union health minister Harsh Vardhan, has accused Maharashtra of hiding its own failures behind the garb of vaccine crisis.

Tope told NDTV on Friday that if the situation does not change, the state may also impose a lockdown if the situation continues to deteriorate. He said the government is not in favour of a lockdown, but will be necessary to break the virus chain.

“We are heading towards a lockdown but I hope that we don’t have to go for one. Before that if we contain the virus, we will be happy, satisfied and contented. We are hoping for the best,” Tope told NDTV in an interview.

“The purpose of a lockdown is to break the chain. Worldwide it is seen that a lockdown of at least 15 days to three weeks is a must and should be followed very strictly. Only in that period we can have good impact,” the news channel reported him as saying.

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