Amid a massive rise in the number of Covid-19 infections, many states have reported a shortage of Covid-19 vaccines.
While the Centre has maintained that there’s no shortage, Odisha on Tuesday, halted the Covid-19 vaccination drive in 11 of the 30 districts in the state due to a jab crunch.
The issue was first reported in Maharashtra, last week, when Mumbai mayor Kishori Pednekar on April 7, urged the Centre to immediately provide the state with more vaccines. Since then, many other states reported a jab crunch. Here’s a list of few of them—
On Tuesday, the Covid-19 vaccination drive was halted in 11 of the 30 districts of the state.
The 11 districts are-- Sambalpur, Puri, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Nayagarh, Boudh, Gajapati, Dhenkanal, Koraput, Jharsuguda and Sonepur.
An official source said that the inoculation drive was conducted only in 495 session sites out of 1,400 sites across the state. "A total of 66,787 beneficiaries were vaccinated at 495 centres on Tuesday ...," he said.
However, he said the vaccination drive was underway in the remaining 19 districts of the state.
Odisha Health Minister NK Das had on Monday written a letter to Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan urging him to supply at least 10 days stock of Covishield (25 lakh doses) to Odisha.
The issue of jab crunch in the country first came to light on April 7, when Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope urged the Centre to provide the state with more vaccines and said that the state’s 14 lakh doses will run out in three days.
On Tuesday Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that the demand for Remdesivir, a key Covid-19 drug, has increased in Maharashtra.
"The war against coronavirus has begun once again," he said, adding the coronavirus pandemic has assumed a scary proportion in the state.
There is a severe strain on Maharashtra's health infrastructure due to a spike in Covid-19 cases, he added.
3) Andhra Pradesh
According to a report by The Hindu, two districts of Andhra Pradesh have completely run out of Covid-19 vaccines.
Last week, the state had requested the Centre for one crore vaccines after health officials on Thursday stated that the state just had three lakh doses left.
According to reports, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh also raised concerns about the state’s low vaccine reserves. Last week, Singh reportedly said that the state only had 5.7 lakh vaccines.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, last week flagging the vaccine shortage in the state. He had urged the Centre to provide the state with 30 lakh Covid-19 vaccines.
Amid these developments, the Centre on Sunday banned the export of Remdesivir, a key drug used in the treatment of Covid-19.
The centre in a statement said, “Government of India has prohibited the exports of Injection Remdesivir and Remdesivir Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) till the situation improves”.
Seven Indian companies are producing Injection Remdesivir under voluntary licensing agreement with M/s. Gilead Sciences, USA. They have an installed capacity of about 38.80 lakh units per month.
The centre has advised domestic manufacturers of the drug to display details of their distributors on their website to facilitate access to the drug.
It has also directed drug officers to check malpractices by distributors which can lead to hoarding and black marketing of the Remdesivir.
Meanwhile, the Union health ministry said on Tuesday that over 1.67 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses are still available with states and UTs.
Addressing a press conference, Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan said so far states and UTs have received 13,10,90,370 vaccine doses, out of which the total consumption, including wastage, has been 11,43,69,677 doses.
"As per 11 am data, unutilised doses available with states and union territories for administration is 1,67,20,693. From now till April end, 2,01,22,960 doses are in the supply pipeline to states and UTs," he said while adding that the data proved that there’s no vaccine shortage and that the problem was that of lakh of planning on part of state governments.
(With PTI inputs)