Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh stares at severe vaccine shortage

Fresh concerns of vaccine shortage at the time of second dose vaccination is fuelling anxiety.   | Photo Credit: GIRI KVS

Barely a week after Chief Minister Y.S Jagan Mohan Reddy launched the mass vaccination drive in ward/village secretariats, the State is staring at a severe shortage of vaccines.

According to data available, the Covaxin doses were just 1.38 lakh and Covishield at 3.06 lakh as on April 6, leading to fresh concerns about the vaccine availability.

While Mr. Jagan had already flagged the concerns of vaccine shortage at a high-level meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Minister for Health, Family Planning, Alla Kali Krishna Srinivas told reporters that about 2 lakh doses of vaccines would arrive by Saturday and another set of doses would arrive in the coming week.

Andhra Pradesh is among the highly infected States with a case positive ratio of 5.98 , behind Kerala (8.46) and Maharashtra (15.10), but the concerns about the vaccine shortage amid a spurt in the number of cases is alarming.

According to data gleaned from CoWIN portal (April 6), the vaccine coverage was 26.70 lakh for Covishield and 6 lakh for Covaxin. The vaccine supply was 28.30 lakh for Covishield and 7.07 lakh for Covaxin, while the wastage was 5.66% for Covishield and 15.08% for Covaxin.

Fresh concerns of vaccine shortage at the time of second dose vaccination is fuelling anxiety. While 28.17 lakh beneficiaries have been vaccinated with first dose, just 4.52 lakh beneficiaries have taken the second dose.

Chittoor leads administsering the first dose to 2.82 lakh people, followed by East Godavari (2.79 lakh doses), while Vizianagaram is the least to vaccinate 1.19 lakh.

Vulnerable group

But the real concern is the low rate of coverage for the most vulnerable group of those above 60 years. Out of the target of vaccinating 51.02 lakh people above 60 years, just 11.71 lakh senior citizens received the first dose, while 18,333 people have been given the second dose. The vaccine coverage is just about 22% in this category.

The vaccine coverage in the next vulnerable group (45 to 60 years) is not encouraging either. Of the target of vaccinating 82.05 lakh people, just 7.83 lakh people (45 to 60 years) have been given the first dose, while 9,027 people got the second dose, and the vaccine coverage is just about 9%.

The vaccine coverage of frontline workers on the other hand is encouraging with 58.63%. Backed by institutional support, the frontline workers in government were given two doses of vaccine. Of the target of vaccinating 7.18 lakh workers, 5.85 lakh workers taken the shot. The target of vaccinating healthcare workers has also progressed with a coverage of over 70%.

Anantapur and Kurnool districts are left with just enough stocks for two days of Covishield and Covaxin. More than 50% of the private hospitals, authorised to handle the vaccination programme, have been deactivated for the past four days as the stocks of the Covaxin have totally dried up and Covieshield is enough to continue at the current rate for only two days. Several private hospitals have been turning away the people, who approached them for the vaccine.

In Chittoor district, a senior official of the District Medical and Health Office (DMHO) said the entire stock of vaccines had gone empty by Friday, and that new stocks were expected to arrive in the next few days.

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Printable version | May 15, 2021 12:17:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/andhra-pradesh-stares-at-severe-vaccine-shortage/article34285090.ece

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