Maharashtra raises alarm: stocks running out, may have to pause Covid vaccination

Even as the Centre flayed Maharashtra Wednesday over its claims of vaccine scarcity, the state has raised alarm bells, with senior well being officers saying they could be compelled to halt vaccination for 4 to 5 days subsequent week if the brand new inventory doesn’t come. Maharashtra estimates that its inventory of 15.76 lakh doses of Covaxin and Covishield might be exhausted in three days.

The state has now requested for a minimal 40 lakh doses to fulfill the every day goal of 4.5 lakh vaccinations, with plans to go as much as at the very least 6 lakh doses per day. Health officers mentioned that they had made a number of requests to the Centre to extend vaccine provide within the final 10 days.

“We have been informed by the Centre that new stocks will come by April 15. In that case, we may have to halt vaccination for a few days,” mentioned Health Secretary Dr Pradeep Vyas.

Officials from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare mentioned they’ve equipped 1.06 crore doses to Maharashtra to this point, with 7.43 lakh extra within the pipeline, and recorded consumption of 90.53 lakh doses.

Maharashtra has been immunising between 3.5 lakh and 4 lakh folks every day, and had vaccinated 85.6 lakh folks until Tuesday evening. On Tuesday, 3.88 lakh folks had been vaccinated. “We do not have enough vaccine doses. Health workers have to turn away recipients. We cannot afford to slow the pace. We are ready to increase daily immunisations to 5 lakh, maybe scale up to 6 lakh,” Health Minister Rajesh Tope mentioned, including he had requested for extra doses, particularly of Covaxin. “There is more demand for Covaxin.”

The worst-hit state, Maharashtra is seeing almost 60,000 circumstances of Covid a day, with 5 lakh energetic circumstances.

Officials from Tope’s workplace mentioned he would situation an announcement in response to the Union Health Minister on Thursday, questioning the Centre’s criticism and stating that Maharashtra has accomplished the utmost vaccinations although Uttar Pradesh, for instance, has a bigger inhabitants. “Only select states are pulled up in video conferences,” an official mentioned.

A senior Maharashtra official mentioned there may be total scarcity in vaccine provide and the Centre had not estimated the every day consumption to rise so quick. Till March 21, India had despatched 6 crore vaccine doses to 76 international locations, and used 4.5 crore domestically. However, within the 16 days since, the nation’s immunisation rely has touched 8.7 crore.

The Indian Express checked inventory throughout districts within the state. While Aurangabad, Nandurbar, Gadchiroli and rural areas had extra inventory attributable to poor turnout, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Mumbai, Nashik, Satara have inventory that may final a day or two. On Tuesday, Maharashtra acquired 3 lakh Covaxin doses. “Before that we received about 10 lakh doses two weeks ago. Currently we are struggling to divert stock from one district to another to keep centres running,” mentioned state immunisation officer Dr D N Patil.

Tope additionally careworn that the state had been following all of the ICMR tips, and strengthened ‘testing, tracing and treatment’, in a bid to test the surge — one of many points raised by the Centre. Noting that the state was dealing with each surge in circumstances and vaccinations concurrently, a senior Health Ministry official mentioned, “Maharashtra has increased overall testing, 70% of it is RT-PCR… For the Centre to say we have not done enough is not fair.”

Abhijeet Bangar, Navi Mumbai Municipal Commissioner, mentioned they’d exhaust vaccine provides by Wednesday night. “We have informed the government that we can’t run our centres tomorrow (Thursday) if there is no new supply. We have 9,000 doses left. Daily consumption is 8,500-10,000 for the city,” Bangar advised The Indian Express.

He mentioned that whereas districts had elevated the tempo of vaccination, the proportional improve in provide had not occurred.

Panvel Municipal company introduced it would shut vaccination from Thursday attributable to scarcity.

On Tuesday, the Nagpur Municipal Corporation diverted 30,000 doses to rural centres. “There is a crunch in rural areas, in the city we are able to manage by diverting stocks from one centre to another,” mentioned Municipal Commissioner Radhakrishnan B. However, in Nagpur metropolis too, the inventory will solely final five-six days, and that too if extra shouldn’t be diverted to rural components. Frequent transportation additionally carries the chance of the vaccine getting broken in case there are temperature fluctuations.

Satara Collector Shekhar Singh mentioned they needed to flip away a number of recipients on Wednesday. “In the last few days, our daily immunisation has risen from 6,000 to 27,000 but equivalent stock hasn’t come. We only have 25,000 doses left, which we will exhaust by the evening. I have been asking the state government every day but even they don’t have buffer stock,” mentioned Singh.

Health officers at Sangli mentioned they ran out of inventory at 3 pm Wednesday. Solapur Municipal Commissioner Astik Kumar Pandey too mentioned they are going to quickly want extra vaccines. Kolhapur is dealing with an analogous scenario.

Pune district can pull alongside for the following one or two days, with well being officers nervous that the scarcity comes at a time after they had simply succeeded in mobilising the hesitant inhabitants to get the vaccine photographs.

Dr Sanjay Deshmukh, Deputy Director, Pune circle, that features Pune, Satara and Solapur districts, mentioned some districts might need to briefly pause vaccinations.

In Mumbai, vaccination centres complained that they had inventory to final two days. At Hiranandani hospital, an official mentioned, “We will have to turn people away from Friday.”

— with Anuradha Mascarenhas, Pune

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