Maharashtra raises alarm: stocks running out, may have to pause vaccination

EVEN AS the Centre flayed Maharashtra Wednesday over its claims of vaccine scarcity, the state has raised alarm bells, with senior well being officers saying they could be pressured to halt vaccination for 4 to 5 days subsequent week if the brand new inventory doesn’t come. Maharashtra estimates that its inventory of 15.76 lakh doses of Covaxin and Covishield will likely be exhausted in three days.

The state has now requested for a minimal 40 lakh doses to satisfy the each day goal of 4.5 lakh vaccinations, with plans to go as much as no less than 6 lakh doses per day. Well being officers stated they’d made a number of requests to the Centre to extend vaccine provide within the final 10 days.

“We’ve got been knowledgeable by the Centre that new shares will come by April 15. In that case, we might need to halt vaccination for a number of days,” stated Well being Secretary Dr Pradeep Vyas.

Officers from the Ministry of Well being and Household Welfare stated they’ve equipped 1.06 crore doses to Maharashtra to this point, with 7.43 lakh extra within the pipeline, and recorded consumption of 90.53 lakh doses.

Maharashtra has been immunising between 3.5 lakh and Four lakh folks each day, and had vaccinated 85.6 lakh folks until Tuesday evening. On Tuesday, 3.88 lakh folks have been vaccinated. “We should not have sufficient vaccine doses. Well being employees have to show away recipients. We can not afford to sluggish the tempo. We’re prepared to extend each day immunisations to five lakh, perhaps scale as much as 6 lakh,” Well being Minister Rajesh Tope stated, including he had requested for extra doses, particularly of Covaxin. “There’s extra demand for Covaxin.”

The worst-hit state, Maharashtra is seeing almost 60,000 circumstances of Covid a day, with 5 lakh energetic circumstances.

Officers from Tope’s workplace stated he would problem a press release in response to the Union Well being Minister on Thursday, questioning the Centre’s criticism and mentioning that Maharashtra has finished the utmost vaccinations although Uttar Pradesh, for instance, has a bigger inhabitants. “Solely choose states are pulled up in video conferences,” an official stated.

A senior Maharashtra official stated there may be total scarcity in vaccine provide and the Centre had not estimated the each day consumption to rise so quick. Until March 21, India had despatched 6 crore vaccine doses to 76 international locations, and used 4.5 crore domestically. Nevertheless, within the 16 days since, the nation’s immunisation depend has touched 8.7 crore.

The Indian Categorical checked inventory throughout districts within the state. Whereas Aurangabad, Nandurbar, Gadchiroli and rural areas had extra inventory resulting from poor turnout, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Mumbai, Nashik, Satara have inventory that may final a day or two. On Tuesday, Maharashtra obtained Three lakh Covaxin doses. “Earlier than that we obtained about 10 lakh doses two weeks in the past. At the moment we’re struggling to divert inventory from one district to a different to maintain centres operating,” stated state immunisation officer Dr D N Patil.

Tope additionally pressured that the state had been following all of the ICMR tips, and strengthened ‘testing, tracing and therapy’, in a bid to verify the surge — one of many points raised by the Centre. Noting that the state was dealing with each surge in circumstances and vaccinations concurrently, a senior Well being Ministry official stated, “Maharashtra has elevated total testing, 70% of it’s RT-PCR… For the Centre to say we’ve got not finished sufficient will not be truthful.”

Abhijeet Bangar, Navi Mumbai Municipal Commissioner, stated they’d exhaust vaccine provides by Wednesday night. “We’ve got knowledgeable the federal government that we will’t run our centres tomorrow (Thursday) if there isn’t any new provide. We’ve got 9,000 doses left. Day by day consumption is 8,500-10,000 for town,” Bangar advised The Indian Categorical.

He stated that whereas districts had elevated the tempo of vaccination, the proportional enhance in provide had not occurred.

Panvel Municipal company introduced it is going to shut vaccination from Thursday resulting from scarcity.

On Tuesday, the Nagpur Municipal Company diverted 30,000 doses to rural centres. “There’s a crunch in rural areas, within the metropolis we’re capable of handle by diverting shares from one centre to a different,” stated Municipal Commissioner Radhakrishnan B. Nevertheless, in Nagpur metropolis too, the inventory will solely final five-six days, and that too if extra will not be diverted to rural components. Frequent transportation additionally carries the chance of the vaccine getting broken in case there are temperature fluctuations.

Satara Collector Shekhar Singh stated they needed to flip away a number of recipients on Wednesday. “In the previous couple of days, our each day immunisation has risen from 6,000 to 27,000 however equal inventory hasn’t come. We solely have 25,000 doses left, which we’ll exhaust by the night. I’ve been asking the state authorities on daily basis however even they don’t have buffer inventory,” stated Singh.

Well being officers at Sangli stated they ran out of inventory at Three pm Wednesday. Solapur Municipal Commissioner Astik Kumar Pandey too stated they’ll quickly want extra vaccines. Kolhapur is going through an identical scenario.

Pune district can pull alongside for the following one or two days, with well being officers frightened that the scarcity comes at a time after they had simply succeeded in mobilising the hesitant inhabitants to get the vaccine photographs.

Dr Sanjay Deshmukh, Deputy Director, Pune circle, that features Pune, Satara and Solapur districts, stated some districts might need to quickly pause vaccinations.

In Mumbai, vaccination centres complained they’d inventory to final two days. At Hiranandani hospital, an official stated, “We should flip folks away from Friday.”

with Anuradha Mascarenhas, Pune

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