Several states have flagged an acute shortage in Covid-19 vaccine supply over the past several days, crippling the inoculation drive in the country.
In view of the scarcity, many vaccination centres in various states, including Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha, will remain closed.
This came as the vaccination pace across the country has slowed down. An average of 62.10 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccines were administered daily in the last week of June, the newspaper reported, citing data on CoWIN portal. The number dropped to 41.80 lakh in the first few days of July. The daily average further fell to 35 lakh between July 5 and July 11.
As per a PTI report, Delhi on Monday ran out of its stocks for the Covishield vaccine against coronavirus disease, citing officials familiar with the matter.
Manish Sisodia, the deputy chief minister of Delhi, also took to his official handle on Twitter to inform denizens regarding the vaccine shortage in the national capital.
Highlighting that Covishield vaccine stocks have run out in Delhi, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia claimed that the central government only provides stocks that last a day or two, at max. "Vaccines have run out in Delhi again," Sisodia wrote in his tweet, "The central government gives vaccines for a day or two, then we have to keep the vaccine centres closed for several days."
He went on to ask, "What is the Centre's constraint? Why is our country's vaccination programme faltering even after so many days?"
On Monday, the health ministry had said over 15.4 million balance and unutilised Covid-19 vaccine doses are still available with the states, UTs and private hospitals to be administered.
Meanwhile another report by Hindustan Times has said that the Centre for the first time defaulted in supply of Covaxin, as Bihar did not receive the tranche of 1.50 lakh vaccine doses it was supposed to get on Monday as per the vaccine supply schedule shared with the state last month.
Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope told news agency PTI that the state has the capacity to vaccinate 1.5 million people daily, but as of now, only 200,000 to 300,000 people are being inoculated due to shortage of stock. In Odisha, the drive was halted in 24 out of 30 districts with state health secretary P K Mohapatra saying that the next consignment of Covishield vaccine was expected to arrive on July 15.
Madhya Pradesh immunisation officer Santosh Shukla issued an order saying that the state has run out of vaccines and no drive will take place on Monday and Wednesday (vaccination days). "We were regularly receiving doses but the manufacturers have limited supply," state medical education minister Vishwas Sarang said.
The central government, however, has refuted claims of Covid-19 vaccine shortage and clarified that all states and Union territories are informed well in advance about the number of vaccines to be sent to them for the month of July.
In an official statement last week, the health ministry said, " The states or UTs have been advised to plan their Covid-19 vaccination sessions based on the availability of the vaccines."