Vaccines falling short, Maharashtra Health Minister’s Jalna district got extra doses

From April 7 to 9, when a number of districts in Maharashtra needed to shut down their vaccination centres on account of scarcity of vaccines, Jalna stood out, with a surplus that may final not less than 10 extra days.

House to Maharashtra Well being Minister Rajesh Tope, Jalna district acquired 60,000 vaccine doses greater than its allotment of 17,000 when recent provides of 26.77 lakh doses had been acquired by the state from the Centre on March 31 — and distributed to all districts.

Sources stated Tope known as Well being Division officers and requested them to extend the allocation to his district to 77,000 doses. Tope informed The Indian Specific “no explicit district was most well-liked” and that if Jalna bought extra shares, this was completed “to encourage extra vaccination”. “We distributed doses to main well being centres and sub centres to extend vaccination,” the minister stated, noting that in opposition to the state common of 27% of the goal inhabitants receiving vaccinations, Jalna had achieved simply 18.1% on the time.

However this went in opposition to each the factors on which the Maharashtra public well being division distributes doses: a district’s every day efficiency of vaccination and energetic instances. On March 31, Jalna had 773 energetic instances, decrease than 30 districts. When it comes to every day vaccinations, its determine of 600-1,000 until March finish put it among the many 10 lowest-performing districts.

State immunisation officer Dr DN Patil diverted 60,000 doses from Aurangabad to Jalna on April 1. Aurangabad, additionally one of many six divisional storage centre for vaccines within the state, had acquired 1.95 lakh doses, primarily based on its 7,000-8,000 every day vaccinations.

At that time Jalna was conducting simply 600-1000 vaccinations a day. At this fee, it had sufficient vaccine doses to final 15-18 days when different districts had shares just for five-10 days. Following the additional doses, Jalna elevated every day vaccinations to three,000-5,000 within the first week of April.

In the meantime, between April Eight and 9, officers throughout Maharashtra districts made frantic requires extra provides to the state well being division. Lastly, Tope allowed switch of 15,000 doses from Jalna to close by districts.

Immunisation officer Dr Patil didn’t reply to calls or textual content messages.

Jalna’s neighbouring districts acquired decrease doses regardless of performing higher than it on every day vaccination numbers and having extra Covid instances. Beed, that within the final week of March was vaccinating 3000-5,000 individuals per day and had 4,296 energetic instances, acquired 30,800 doses on April 1; Latur with 3,000-5,000 every day vaccinations and 5,931 energetic instances bought 53,800 doses; and Parbhani with 2,000-3,000 vaccinations and 4,944 instances bought 21,500 doses.

Solely 9 districts with vaccination numbers larger than Jalna (between 8,000-40,000) acquired extra shares than it on April 1.

Sources stated Tope “insisted” on allotting Jalna extra inventory on March 31 as a result of Maharashtra had acquired an enormous provide from the Centre. Earlier than that in addition to later, the state acquired restricted shares ranging between 5-14 lakh doses.

Among the many districts and firms that shut down a number of vaccination centres between April 7 and 9 resulting from zero shares had been Satara, Navi Mumbai, Mumbai and Sangli. On April 7, Jalna had over 50,000 doses. Mumbai needed to shut 25 non-public centres on April Eight and 50 centres on April 9.

District well being officers stated they requested the state authorities, together with Tope, to urgently ship extra shares. “We reasoned with the minister that shares in Jalna would sit for days as different districts suffered. He ultimately agreed to divert shares from Jalna,” an official stated.

On April 8, Jalna transferred 15,000 doses, to Washim, Yavatmal and Parbhani. “A couple of centres couldn’t operate for a day-and-a-half,” stated Dr Avinash Aaher, Washim’s district well being officer.

Dr Vivek Khatgaonkar, district well being officer in Jalna, stated doses had been moved to different districts when scarcity was reported. In Yavatmal, district well being officer Dr Hari Pawar stated their provide is all the time restricted.

By the way, on April 7 and eight, Tope red-flagged the acute vaccine scarcity in Maharashtra, receiving in flip a trenchant response from Union Well being Minister Harsh Vardhan that the state had sufficient shares.

Until Might 2, Jalna had administered 2.06 lakh doses, whereas enhancing its every day capability to 13,000 doses.

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