Vaccination centres running out of stock, says Rajesh Tope; Vardhan contradicts claim

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on April 07, 2021

A Covishield vaccine dose being prepared for vaccination   -  The Hindu

Maharashtra has just three days’ stock of Covid-19 vaccine, about 14 lakh doses, said the State Health Minister, Rajesh Tope on Wednesday. The State government has asked the Centre for 40 lakh more doses per week but the supply is happening at a slow pace, the Minister said.

Tope told media persons that many vaccination centres in Maharashtra are being forced to close as they have run out of stocks. People coming to vaccination centres are returning disappointed.

Since start of the vaccination drive, the Maharashtra government had been requesting the Centre to increase vaccine supply to match the pace of vaccination. Maharashtra is the number one State in terms of vaccination and if the pandemic has to be controlled, vaccination is essential, he said.

In cities and villages, local mobilisation of the eligible people is happening at a fast pace, but the vaccines are not available. Yesterday, this was raised again with the Centre for higher vaccine supply. The demand for Covaxin is higher, Tope said.

Today youth between 20 and 40 age groups are most impacted by Covid in Maharashtra, therefore, the Central government should also take a quick decision to vaccinate them also. The age groups are most socially active and largest number of patients are from these groups. In fact universal vaccination, which is for all the people above 18 years, should be now implemented, he said.

In Maharashtra every day 50,000 Covid cases are being detected with a large number of youth being victims. Therefore, the universal vaccination should start in the State urgently.

Oxygen supply

The State is producing 1,200 tonnes of oxygen per day and 700 tonnes is being consumed daily. But still the demand is rising due to the spike in patient numbers therefore additional supply from neighbouring States is needed. The Union Health Minister has taken note of the request. The State has reserved 80 per cent of the oxygen for medical use and only 20 per cent is used for industrial use, Tope said.

Remdesivir Supply

Tope said that every day 50,000 Remdesivir injections are are being used. Therefore, the private stockist of such injections should also be kept under watch by the Drug Controller of India, to prevent black marketing.

The cost of one Remdesivir injections is between ₹1,100 to 1,400, but it is being sold at a much higher rate. A number of patients have to undergo unnecessary medical tests, which also should be avoided, the Minister said.

PTI adds: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Wednesday hit out at Maharashtra and some other States, alleging them of trying to cover their “failures” and spreading panic among people by demanding vaccination of all without inoculating enough number of eligible beneficiaries.

He further said statements made by public representatives in Maharashtra about the shortage of vaccines were “nothing but an attempt to divert attention from Maharashtra government’s repeated failures to control the spread of pandemic.”

Asserting that allegations of vaccine shortage are utterly baseless, Vardhan said Maharashtra’s “testing is not up to the mark and their contact tracing leaves a lot to be desired.”

In a strong statement, he charged, “It is shocking to see how the State government is putting Maharashtrians in danger by letting people escape institutional quarantine mandate for the sake of their personal vasuli.



Published on April 07, 2021

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