Vaccination declines by 60% as States say they have no doses

Immunisation centres in several regions shut down after stocks run out.

Updated - July 14, 2021 07:46 am IST

Published - July 13, 2021 07:08 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Vials of Covishield vaccine during a vaccination drive in West Delhi on July 13, 2021.

Vials of Covishield vaccine during a vaccination drive in West Delhi on July 13, 2021.

The weekly pace of vaccination has declined to nearly 60% of what was seen in the week after June 21, when the Centre entirely took over vaccine procurement from the States. The slackening has resulted in several States complaining of a shortage and an inability to cater to demand.

On June 21, the first day of the new policy, nearly 91 lakh doses were administered and until June 27, about 4 crore were administered. While the week after didn’t match up, the period from July 5-July 11 has seen only 2.3 crore doses dispensed. So far about 38 crore vaccines have been administered since the drive commenced in January.


In the week since June 21, sixty lakh vaccines a day were the norm. However, the last time India crossed that daily figure was July 3. To meet the Centre’s commitment to fully vaccinate all Indian adults by the year end, at least eighty lakh doses have to be administered every day.

Several States have reported having to shut down vaccination centres due to unavailability of stocks.

We need 10 crore more doses: Tamil Nadu

“We have 3,96,750 doses left in hand. This is definitely not enough...We need nearly 11.5 crore doses but have received 1.67 crore doses. We require 10 crore more doses. The government is continuing its efforts to get more vaccines,” said Ma. Subramanian, Tamil Nadu Minister for Medical and Family Welfare.

On Tuesday, Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, in a letter to the Prime Minister, pointed out the imbalance in vaccine allocation for Tamil Nadu and sought special allocation of one crore doses.

Vaccination centres remaining closed or people queuing up for vaccines for long hours have become a common sight in many places. Tamil Nadu has so far received 1.67 crore doses of the two vaccines, while 1.66 crore have been administered.

Maharashtra has administered 3.7 crore doses thus far. The State government has claimed it has the capacity to administer 15 lakh doses a day. Health Minister Rajesh Tope said 70 lakh doses had arrived last week but was exhausted in just three days. The State Assembly had recently passed a resolution demanding 3 crore doses per month from the Centre for the next three months.

Till date, around 47% of Mumbai’s populace above 18 years has been administered the first dose while more than 25% has been given both doses. A total 60 lakh persons (both first and second doses) have taken the vaccine. The BMC officials have said while they have the capacity to administer 1,00,000 doses daily, the civic body is unable to fulfil even 50% of that quota due to paucity of vaccines.

In Karnataka the gap between those vaccinated only with the first and those fully vaccinated has widened with the latter around 23%. State Health Commissioner K.V. Trilok Chandra attributed the low percentage of fully vaccinated people to the 12-16 week gap between two doses of Covishield that was introduced in May. As a major chunk of vaccinations happened in the last three months, those who have taken the first dose after that are not yet due for the second, he said. The demand is expected to go up in the coming days, as those falling into the eligible category will go up, he reasoned.

Shortage of Covaxin doses in Telangana

Several Telangana government COVID Vaccination Centres (GCVC) have ran out of Covaxin doses. The shortage is being experienced from the past few days.

Sources in the State Health Department told The Hindu that Covaxin doses were not given at GCVCs in Hyderabad, Rangareddy, and Medchal-Malkajgiri districts.

“Until a few weeks ago, we used to mobilise people for COVID vaccination. We are not doing it currently since the stock is not in abundance. And we don’t know when we will get huge stock,” sources said.

Huge supply-demand mismatch continues to be an issue in Kerala, said officials.

The State has assigned priority status to specific groups in the population, like NRIs or students who are preparing to go abroad and college students between 18-23 years of age, but there is not enough vaccines to be distributed to all.

Health officials say though the supply is regular, the consignments are quite small for a State which has the capacity to deliver 2.5-3 lakh doses per day. This has seriously reduced the pace of vaccination, despite the huge demand for the same.

Kerala has administered the first dose to 44% of its population above 18 years and the second to 16 %.

The State’s vaccine requirement for July is 60 lakh doses, with 25 lakhs doses required for delivering second doses to those who are due for it.

Delhi’s vaccine stock is expected to last for only two more days, as per a bulletin released by the Delhi government on Tuesday. But many centres were shut on Tuesday as the city had stock for less than a day as on Monday evening and the centres were yet to get fresh stock. Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Tuesday said 500 centres were closed due to the shortage.

Due to the lack of sufficient doses of the vaccines, Andhra Pradesh has now prioritised giving the second dose to the beneficiaries due to receive it by limiting the administration of the first dose to eligible beneficiaries aged about 45, mothers of children aged below 5 years and people required to travel abroad.

According to officials, the Central government promised 50 lakh doses in July. However, there are over 30 lakh beneficiaries due to receive the second dose in July and so far only about six lakh of them received it, according to the Cowin portal. During the past three days, over six lakh doses were administered in the State and half of them were second doses.

In a series of tweets, former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said Odisha had reported 24 of 30 districts as having run out of vaccines. “Odisha is governed by the BJD, an ally of the BJP. What has the Central government that dismissed complaints of vaccine shortage got to say now? Vaccine shortage is a FACT. Vaccine production is EXAGGERATED. Vaccine import is a MYSTERY. Vaccinating the entire adult population by December 2021 is an empty BOAST,” he tweeted and reiterated these points at a press conference.

The bulk of India’s vaccine supply continues to be that of Covishied with only 4.7 of the 38 crore so far administered constituting Covaxin.

The government had earlier projected that Bharat Biotech is to scale up production to 6-7 crore doses a month from July-August and 10 crore doses a month from September. This works out to at least 52 crore doses from July-December, of which 40 crore is marked out from September to December.

(With inputs from Serena Josephine, K Shiv Shanker, Shoumojit Banerjee, Tharun Boda, Nikhil Babu)

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