The weekly rate of vaccination has declined by 60 per cent of what was experienced in the first week since the Centre revised its vaccine policy on June 21. States have complained about the shortage of vaccination doses because of the delay. On June 21, 91 lakh doses of vaccines were administered nationwide. Till June 27, the first week of the policy, 4 crore doses of vaccines were administered. After that, the count kept dropping. Between July 5 and July 11, 2.3 crore doses were distributed, and until July 14, 38 crores vaccine shots have been administered to the citizens since the vaccination drive began in January this year.
Tamil Nadu Flags Shortage
For the Centre's dream of achieving 100 per cent vaccination for all adults by year-end, it is estimated that 80 lakh doses of vaccines must be administered every day. However, the reality is different. From June 21 to July 3, 60 lakh doses were given every day, after which the count kept falling. Several states had to shut down vaccination centres due to lack of doses. The Hindu reported Tamil Nadu's Minister of Medical and Family Welfare saying that the state is left with less than 4 lakh vaccination doses. He said it "was not enough". The state has received only 1.67 crore doses left, while there is a demand of 11.5 crores.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK. Stalin wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi referring to the imbalance in vaccine allocation. People lining up outside vaccination centres have become a common sight in several states. In Karnataka, the divide between individuals vaccinated with the first dose and those immunised with both doses has widened. The demand is slated to go up in the coming days. Some states have assigned a priority status to a chunk of their population, including NRIs and students preparing to go abroad.
The states said that even though the consignments of vaccines are regular, the number of doses per consignment is lower than the demand they are facing.
Last month, former Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan sought to blame the states for the shortage of vaccines. "If there are issues in states, it shows that they need to better plan their vaccination drives. Intra-state planning & logistics are the responsibility of the states. I request these leaders to desist from their shameless urge to play politics even in the midst of a pandemic," tweeted Vardhan.