Coronavirus: States have over one crore vaccine doses, says Centre
At a time when several states have complained about being low on vaccine doses and expressed the inability to kick off the third phase of the inoculation drive from May 1, the Centre has claimed that they have over one crore vials with them. The Health Ministry on Thursday asserted that another 20 lakh doses will be made available in the next three days.
The Health Ministry revealed that states have so far received 16.16 crore doses for free. Of them, 1,51,077,933 doses have been utilized, including wastage. "More than one crore COVID-19 vaccine doses (1,06,08,207) are still available with the states/UTs to be administered. More than 20 lakh (20,48,890) vaccine doses will be received in addition by the states/UTs within the next three days," the statement read.
The Ministry also drew attention to media reports that hinted that Maharashtra's stocks won't last long. Challenging the speculations, the Ministry said, "The total COVID-19 vaccine doses received by Maharashtra as of 28th April 2021 (at 8 am) are 1,63,62,470. Of this, the total consumption including wastage (0.22%) was 1,56,12,510." The state still has 7,49,960 doses with it, underlined the Centre.
The statement comes after Rajesh Tope, the Health Minister of Maharashtra, said that the state can't launch the third phase of the drive from May 1. "We have all the infrastructure to conduct vaccination but we don't have vaccines in adequate quantity. The Chief Minister is talking to different vaccine manufacturers. There will be separate centers for vaccination for the 18-44 group," he said.
Likewise, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led government has also claimed that Delhi doesn't have enough vials. When asked about the plans to inoculate those above 18, Health Minister Satyendar Jain replied today, "We do not have vaccines as of now. We have made requests to the company regarding vaccines, we will tell you when they come."
Besides Maharashtra, states like Odisha, Rajasthan, and Jharkhand, have also alleged a shortage of doses. Yesterday, the government allowed those aged between 18 and 44 to register themselves for the coronavirus vaccine. However, despite a staggering number of registrations — 1.33 crore — most of the beneficiaries couldn't find a slot. The Centre said the onus of appointments lies with states and private vaccination centers.