New Delhi: Due to the acute shortage of COVID-19 vaccines in Maharashtra, the state government on Wednesday (May 12) announced to temporarily suspend its drive to vaccinate people in the age group of 18 to 44 and divert the available stock of doses for the above-45 age group, Health Minister Rajesh Tope said. This decision was taken during the state cabinet meeting.
SII unable to provide 1.5 crore Covishield vaccines to Maharashtra
The minister also revealed that the Serum Institute of India (SII) has informed the Maharashtra government that it would be able to provide 1.5 crore Covishield vaccines to the state only May 20 onwards. "There is no sufficient supply of vaccine vials by the Centre for inoculation of above-45 age group people. Hence, the state cabinet decided to divert the stock, purchased for the 18-44 age group, for the above-45 age group. Therefore, we are suspending the inoculation of 18-44age group for some period," Tope said.
While Covishield vaccine is manufactured by Pune-based SII, Covaxin is produced by Bharat Biotech.
"Adar Poonawalla of SII has informed Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray of his ability to supply around 1.5 crore vials of Covishield from May 20 onwards. Once we receive the supply, we will resume the vaccination of 18-44 age group," the minister said.
On Tuesday, Tope had alleged that the Union government was not fulfilling its responsibility to provide adequate number of vaccine doses to states.
No Covaxin left, received 2.67 lakh doses of Covishield, says Delhi govt
Meanwhile, the Delhi government announced that there will be no Covaxin doses available at any vaccination centre in the national capital from Wednesday onwards as the stock has finished, prompting the state government to shut around 100 centres. The Delhi government, which raised an alarm regarding Covaxin shortage on May 11 evening, said the last available stock of Covaxin was administered earlier in the day.
"We had just 16,900 doses of Covaxin stock for today (Wednesday) which was administered and we have no Covaxin stock left for any centre. Now, Covaxin will not be administered at any vaccination centre from tomorrow until vaccine supply is received," said AAP MLA Atish, while giving details of the Delhi government`s vaccination scheme to the press on Wednesday.
Delhi on Wednesday received 2,67,790 doses of Covishield vaccine for people in the 18 to 44 years age group.
Amid the nationwide second wave of the Covid pandemic, the Delhi government has been struggling to provide beds, oxygen, medicines for Covid patients in the hospitals and at homes. For the last few days, the capital is also struggling for vaccines.