Express News Service
NEW DELHI: Amid accusations by some states that they have received an inadequate supply of vaccines for the immunisation drive beginning Saturday, the Centre on Wednesday asserted that it has distributed stocks in proportion to healthcare workers in each state. “Full initial procurement amount of 1.65 crore doses of Covishield and Covaxin have been allocated to all states in proportion of health care workers database,” said the Union health ministry. “Therefore, there is no question of discrimination against any state in allocation of vaccine doses.”
The clarification comes after Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope alleged that the state received 9.83 lakh of doses even though it had sent a database of 17.5 lakh healthcare workers in the state. For the first phase of the vaccination, the Centre has procured 1.1 crore doses of Covishield and 55 lakh doses of Covaxin from Bharat Biotech.
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“This is the initial lot of supply of vaccine doses and would be continuously replenished in the weeks to come. Therefore, any apprehension being expressed on account of deficient supply is totally baseless and unfounded,” the Centre said. It added that the states were advised to organise vaccination sessions taking into account 10 % reserve or wastage doses and average of 100 vaccinations per session per day. Any undue haste by states to organise unreasonable numbers of vaccination per site per day is not advisable, said the ministry.
Though the government has not made public details of beneficiaries to be vaccinated on the first day or the number of vaccination centres, sources said there are nearly 3,000 centres. “This number was 5,000 initially but following our request that the process should begin in a graded and cautious manner with limited vaccinations, states have reduced the number and it now stands a little over 2,900,” a senior official told this newspaper.