Coronavirus: Huge vaccine wastage by states, especially in Tamil Nadu
Even as several Indian states report a shortage of vaccines, an RTI (Right to Information) query has indicated a huge wastage of doses since the country began its inoculation program this January.
More than 44 lakh doses were wasted out of the 10 crore total doses used by states till April 11, the RTI query revealed.
Here are more details on this.
Tamil Nadu reported highest wastage of 12.10%
According to the RTI reply, Tamil Nadu reported the highest wastage of 12.10%.
It is followed by Haryana (9.74%), Punjab (8.12%), Manipur (7.8%), and Telangana (7.55%).
Meanwhile, states that wasted the least are Kerala, Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Goa, Daman and Diu, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and Lakshadweep.
There was "zero wastage" in these states, the RTI reply said, according to NDTV.
Vaccine shortage triggered row between states and Centre
In the past few weeks, several states like Maharashtra and Delhi have flagged shortage of vaccines, alleging that they are not receiving sufficient doses from the central government in proportion to their population.
The Centre, on the other hand, has repeatedly denied the allegations, asserting that these states are facing the shortage because of mismanagement and vaccine wastage.
'Problem is lack of planning, not shortage'
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan had said last week, "The problem is of lack of better planning, not of vaccine doses shortage."
"We have made available vaccine doses to states and UTs from time to time and as we told you earlier that to bigger states we give supply of four days at once and on fourth and fifth day we replenish the supply."
India takes several measures to boost availability of vaccines
Meanwhile, the government has taken several measures to boost the availability of vaccine doses in India.
India recently approved Russia's COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V and its doses are expected to arrive in India within the next 10 days.
The country has also fast-tracked clearance for COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved in other nations.
Further, all aged above 18 can be vaccinated from May.
Rs. 4,500 crore advance given to vaccine makers in India
An advance of Rs. 4,500 crore has been given to vaccine makers in India, Finance Ministry sources told NDTV. Rs. 3,000 crore have been given to the Serum Institute of India and Rs. 1,500 crore to Bharat Biotech to increase the production of vaccines.
India battles dreadful second wave of COVID-19
India is currently battling a dreadful second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
In the last 24 hours, the country reported 2.6 lakh new cases as its tally reached 1.53 crore. With over 1,700 fatalities, it was also the deadliest day yet.
In fact, several states have been reporting a shortage of hospital beds and medical oxygen amid the unfolding crisis.