NEW DELHI: As the country is facing a shortage of vaccine, over 44 lakh doses of vaccines – about 23 per cent of 10 crore doses distributed to five states – were wasted since India began the vaccination drive in January, said an RTI reply on Monday.
Among the five states including Haryana, Punjab, Manipur and Telangana, Tamil Nadu reported the highest wastage of vaccine.
The state has reported the highest waste - 12.10 per cent, followed by Haryana (9.74%), Punjab (8.12%), Manipur (7.8%) and Telangana (7.55%).
According to the RTI reply, over 44 lakh doses were wasted, out of the 10 crore doses used by states till April 11.
The states that wasted the least are Kerala, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Goa, Daman and Diu, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep. There was "zero wastage" of doses in these states, the RTI reply revealed.
The allegations of vaccine shortage have sparked a political row between the centre and states like Maharashtra, Punjab and Delhi, who alleged that the vaccine allocated for them is less in proportion to the population in comparison to Gujarat.
In an attempt to tackle the unprecedented surge in coronavirus cases, the Centre further relaxed the vaccination regime on Monday by allowing all those above 18 years to get covid vaccination from May 1.
To boost doses, the government also recently fast-tracked clearance for Covid vaccines that have been approved in other countries.