Express News Service
NEW DELHI: The Centre on Tuesday retorted charges by government functionaries in Maharashtra that there is an acute shortage of Covid vaccine in the state, which has badly hit the ongoing vaccination drive.
It clarified that till Tuesday morning, the western state, which has been reporting the maximum number of Covid cases in the country every day, had received a total of 1,58,62,470 doses while the total consumption including wastage there so far is 1,49,39,410.
“Balance of 9,23,060 doses is still available with the state for administration of vaccine doses to the eligible population groups,” said the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in a statement, adding that 3 lakh more doses of Covid vaccine are in the pipeline for delivery to the state in the next three days.
The details shared show that Maharashtra has the highest unused vaccine doses available so far when compared to other states.
So far, the Centre has provided 15,65,26,140 to the states free of cost while the total consumption including wastages has been 14,64,78,983 doses.
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More than 1 crore doses are still available with states to be administered, said the ministry and reassured that over 80 lakh additional doses will reach them in the next 3 days.
The data put out by the government showed that Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and West Bengal have received the maximum vaccine doses so far, which is not in proportion to their total population.
However, as the vaccination drive has been rolled out in a phase-wise manner, starting first with healthcare workers and followed by frontline workers, those over 60 years and then for people above 45, the distribution has been done keeping the target population and pandemic status in mind, sources in the government said
Starting May 1, while the Centre will keep procuring 50% of the vaccine supplies which will then be sent out to states to vaccinate the priority group or the population above 45 years, states and private hospitals have been allowed to procure the rest of the supply for the 18-44 age group population.