Health minister Harsh Vardhan assures no vaccine shortage; Odisha govt says can conduct vaccination for another 3 days only

Yesterday, the Odisha government shot off a letter to the central government informing that it has nil stock of Covishield vaccine in all regional and district vaccine stores. In another three days, there will be a stock out of Covishield vaccine in the entire state, it said.

Gaon Connection
| Updated: April 7th, 2021

Photo: @DistAdmKeonjhar/twitter

In a letter to the Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, PK Mohapatra, additional chief health secretary of Odisha, has urged the central government to supply additional doses of the COVID19 vaccine to the state.

The state has requested the Centre to supply 1.5 to 2 million additional doses of Covishield vaccine. “I would like to reiterate that at least 15 to 20 lakh doses of Covishield vaccine may kindly be allocated to Odisha immediately for conducting planned session smoothly in coming days,” said Mohapatra in the letter dated April 6.

In his letter, he further informed that “as on April 6th, we have stock of 3, 47,180 doses of Covishield and 1,36,820 doses of Covaxin vaccine with peripheral Cold Chain Points. Presently, there is NIL stock of Covishield vaccine in all Regional & District vaccine stores in the State.”

The letter stated that yesterday afternoon the state received 349,130 doses of Covishield. “With the available stock in the State and the current trend of vaccination coverage by the districts, we can conduct vaccination sessions in the State for another three days only. After that, there will be stock out of Covishield vaccine in the entire State,” reads the letter.

This will adversely impact timely administration of second dose of vaccine as well as delay vaccination of more vulnerable groups, especially in view of the rising Covid cases in the state, said Mohapatra. 

Today, April 7, Odisha reported 588 new COVID19 cases in the last 24 hours. The total active cases in the state now stands at 3,518.

As per the April 6 letter, since April 1 the average vaccination coverage of the state is more than 231,000 per day. In Odisha, more than 3.56 million doses of vaccine to healthcare workers, frontline workers and citizens 45 years and above have already been administered.

Dismissing any fears of vaccine shortage in the country, in a meeting with 11 states/Union Territories on vaccination review, Harsh Vardhan, the Union health minister, yesterday said that “there is no vaccine shortage in any part of the country. The Centre is providing the required quantities to all States and UTs.” He assured everyone that the Centre will continually replenish the vaccine stock.

The Maharashtra government has also demanded an additional 15 million vaccine doses. Recently the state chief minister Uddhav Thackeray also wrote to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him to lower the eligible age for vaccination to 25 years.

As per the data shared by the health ministry, more than 3.3 million vaccination doses were administered in the last 24 hours. Cumulatively, 87 million vaccine doses have been administered.

Two days from now, on April 9, Modi is also scheduled to review the COVID-19 situation with all the chief ministers of the country.

Also Read: COVID19 second wave: India crosses the daily 115,000-case threshold; night curfew in Chandigarh and Gujarat