At Least Six States Flag COVID Vaccine Shortage, Centre Accuses Them Of 'Playing Politics'
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India, 8 April 2021 8:02 AM GMT | Updated 8 April 2021 9:59 AM GMTcheck update history
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Improving governance and health infra is the real test, and many states are failing at it, the Union health minister said.
In a sharp statement, Union health minister Harsh Vardhan on Wednesday, April 7, said that some states and political leaders are playing politics over Coronavirus and spreading panic among people to divert attention from their inability to deal with the pandemic.
"Playing politics is easy, but improving governance and health infrastructure is the real test," he said.
The Union health minister criticised some leaders for demanding that vaccines be made available to everyone above 18 years.
"The primary aim of vaccination is to reduce mortality among the most vulnerable sections of people, and enable the society to beat the pandemic," he said, adding that there is no option but to prioritize.
Stating the reasons, the government also refused to allow coronavirus vaccination for all age groups.
The comments by the union health minister come at a time when at least six states – Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Odisha and Telangana – are staring at a vaccine shortage as India grapples with the second wave of the deadly pandemic.
Most of these states have written to the Centre demanding more stocks of vaccines.
Meanwhile, Adar Poonawalla, the chief executive officer of Serum Institute of India, on Tuesday said that his company's existing capacity to manufacture coronavirus vaccine Covishield was "very stressed" and it needed Rs 3,000 crore to boost production by June.
He added that the Institute was prioritising the vaccine needs of the country but was still short of being able to supply the doses to every citizen.
India is currently in its third phase of vaccination, where those above the age of 45 years are eligible to get the vaccine shots.
Three months after the country began vaccinating its population, the country reported a massive surge in infections. On Wednesday, April 7, India reported at least 1,15,736 coronavirus cases, the highest since the pandemic began.
Also Read: Gujarat: Despite Being Below 45 Years Of Age, Over 900 Students Received COVID Vaccines At IIT Gandhinagar