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‘States informed in advance about vaccine allocation’: Health Minister Mandaviya counters shortage reports

World News

Amid reports of vaccine shortage from several states, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said Wednesday that the Centre had informed the state governments of the allocation of doses in advance. Despite this, if “we see mismanagement and long queues of vaccine takers, then it is very clear what the problem is and who is the reason behind it,” he added.

In a six-part Twitter thread in Hindi, Mandaviya asserted that “useless statements (on the availability of vaccines) are being made only to create panic among the people”.

In a bid to set the record straight, the Health Minister provided “an actual analysis of the facts”.11.46 crore vaccine doses were made available to the state governments and union territories in the month of June to enable vaccination in government and private hospitals, he said.

The number of doses were increased to 13.50 crore in the month of July, he added.

He added that the central government had informed the states on June 19 — two days prior to the universalisation of the vaccination drive — regarding the allocation of vaccine doses to each state for the month of July.  On June 27 and July 13, the states were also informed about the batch-wise availability of vaccines for every day of the first and second fortnights of July, he said.

“So, the states know very well when and in what quantity they will get the vaccine doses,” Mandaviya elaborated, adding that this was done so that the state governments could plan the vaccination drive in advance up to the district level.

He hit out against politicians for makings statements that “create confusion and concern in the media,” and asked them to “introspect whether they have been so distanced from the governance process that they are not even aware of the information already given in the context of vaccine supply.”

Earlier this week, PTI had reported that the average daily vaccination has seen a decline since June 21, according to the government data. While an average of 61.14 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccine were administered daily in the week from June 21-27, the figure dipped to 34.32 lakh doses for the week of July 5 to July 11.

States such as Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Assam, Tripura and Chhattisgarh showed a decline in average daily vaccinations since the week of June 21-27, the news agency reported.

Delhi, too, has reported a shortage of vaccines, being forced to stall its vaccination drive several times over the past week. According to Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain, several vaccination centres in the city will not function on Wednesday because of the shortage.

“There is a shortage of vaccines in Delhi. We received a small stock of 1.5 lakh Covishield vaccines on Monday night…We have at the most around 1.68 lakh vaccines which can’t last beyond Tuesday or half of Wednesday. We have to shut down vaccination centres. We have the capability to administer three to four lakh vaccine doses a day,” he said.

On Monday, PTI had reported that at least 25 of Rajasthan’s 33 districts also halted the vaccination drive due to a shortage of doses. “The state had only 10,000 doses on Monday. So, vaccination sessions could not be conducted in about 25 districts of the state,” Health Secretary Siddharth Mahajan was quoted as saying.

According to the Ministry of Health’s data over 37.14 lakh doses were administered in the last 24 hours in the country. India recorded 38,792 new coronavirus cases and 624 deaths in the last 24 hours, ending 8 am on Wednesday. With this, the country’s overall caseload crossed 3.1 crore, while the death toll now exceeds 4.11 lakh.

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