Mumbai temporarily shutting vaccinations; Delhi, Punjab also out of stock
No coronavirus vaccines will be administered for the next three days in India's financial capital Mumbai as the city's administration has run out of doses. Similar concerns over vaccine shortage have also been raised by states/union territories such as Delhi, Punjab, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Andhra Pradesh. The worrisome development has come even as India has announced inoculation for all adults from May 1.
Mumbai's civic body said it has stopped vaccinations until Sunday. "Vaccination in Mumbai will be completely closed for three days from Friday, April 30, 2021 to Sunday, May 2, 2021 due to depletion of available vaccines," the BMC said in a statement. BMC Additional Commissioner Suresh Kakani informed vaccinations will be restarted soon after the live-saving doses reach the city.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Public Works Department Minister Ashok Chavan alleged the central government failed to plan the vaccination program properly. "The vaccine doses need to be supplied on time...Considering the threat of a third wave of the pandemic, such delay in vaccine supply is not good."
Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Thursday said that the national capital is out of vaccine stocks. "We do not have vaccines as of now," Jain said, adding, "We have made requests to the company regarding vaccines." City government officials reportedly said they will procure 67 lakh doses of the Covishield vaccine, and the first delivery will reach by May 3.
Punjab Health Minister Balbir Sidhu said the state needs 10 lakh additional vaccine doses to begin inoculating those aged above 18 from May 1. "We have less hope for the vaccine to reach Punjab that leads to delay for drive of above 18." Meanwhile, Rajasthan Health Minister Raghu Sharma said that vaccinations for 18-44 age group is expected to start only from May 15.
Inoculation for all adults is also unlikely to begin anytime soon in Gujarat owing to a lack of stocks. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said that the process should hopefully start by May 15. He said the state has ordered as many as 2.5 crore doses, and a part of that consignment is expected within the first two weeks of May.
इसलिए 1 मई से वैक्सीनेशन का यह कार्यक्रम मध्यप्रदेश में प्रारंभ नहीं किया जा सकेगा।— Shivraj Singh Chouhan (@ChouhanShivraj) April 29, 2021
हम जानते हैं कि उत्पादन की भी एक सीमा है। जैसे-जैसे उत्पादन होगा और हमें वैक्सीन मिलेगी, वैसे-वैसे 18 साल से ऊपर के हमारे जो नौजवान हैं, उनको नि:शुल्क वैक्सीन लगाने का अभियान चलायेंगे।
Despite the warnings, the Centre has assured that there is no shortage of vaccines. The Union Health Ministry yesterday said more than one crore doses are still available with states and 20 lakh more doses would be sent in the next three days. Across India, over 15 crore vaccine doses have been administered thus far, however, nearly 1% of the population is fully vaccinated.
India is in dire need of more vaccines as it has been gripped by a dreadful second wave of the pandemic, which experts blame on mutated strains of the virus, mass gatherings, and a slow vaccination drive. In the last 24 hours, the country reported 3.86 lakh fresh infections - the highest-ever one-day surge. 3,498 more fatalities took the death toll past 2.08 lakh.