The Telangana public health department has stoutly denied the charge of the Union Health Ministry that the state topped in COVID-19 vaccine wastage with a very high 17.6 per cent. Public health director Dr G Sreenivasa Rao asserted that the wastage was only 1.22 per cent.
Rao released the details through a media statement on Thursday (March 18) night.
The Union health secretary had named six states, where vaccine wastage was high. Telangana topped the list with 17.6 per cent, followed by Andhra Pradesh with 11.6 per cent.
Andhra Pradesh health officials chose not to respond, while Telangana rejected the charge.
Without directly naming the Union Health Ministry, Srinivasa Rao furnished the details of vaccine utilisation and wastage.
According to him, 9,52,550 vaccine doses were issued to the state as per the eVIN portal. Of them, 40,540 doses were reserved for personnel belonging to the armed forces. Besides, there is a buffer stock of 25,680 doses.
Rao said the state utilised 8.86 lakh doses while the actual doses administered are 8.75 lakh as of now. As many as 2,12,162 dose-1 and 1,61,470 dose-2 were administered to healthcare workers. A total of 1,06,240 dose-1 and 55,557 dose-2 were given to frontline workers. So far, 2,41,948 first doses were administered to senior citizens above 60 years while 98,101 first doses were given to people in the 45-59 age group with co-morbidities.
Governor demands report on vaccine wastage
Expressing concern over the vaccine wastage reported in the state, Telangana Governor Tamilasai Soundararajan has demanded a report on the same from the state government.
At a review meeting with officials through video conferencing from Puducherry (where she is holding additional charge as Lt. Governor) on Thursday, she said, “I am worried about the high rate of vaccine wastage in our Telangana state. When more than 70 countries are seeking our vaccine, we cannot afford to waste vaccine. All the eligible need to get vaccinated”.
A Raj Bhavan communique said that she has directed officials to get a report from the government on vaccine wastage.