Shortage of vaccine hits mass inoculation drive in State

Health Minister K.K. Shylaja on Thursday said there was a shortage of vaccine in the State and the government had requested for more vaccines from the Centre.

After attending an emergency online meeting called by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Ms. Shylaja told the media that there was a worrying situation in the State due to the shortage of vaccines and that localised lockdown might be required in areas where the disease was severe. The Minister said more vaccines were expected from the Centre. However, if there was a shortage in supply, it would be difficulty to carry out the mass vaccination drive, she added.

Vaccination camps in the State were in a state of disarray due to acute shortage of vaccines, which were in stock only for three days, she said. The State had started mega vaccination camps to curb the spread of the disease. The goal was to vaccinate 2.5 million people a day. The matter was brought to the notice of the Union Health Minister and the Health Secretary. The State had asked the Centre to supply 25 lakh doses each of the Covishield and Covaxin vaccines to Kerala, but received only 2 lakh doses of Covaxin. Vaccination would be completely discontinued if no more vaccines were received before April 20, said Ms. Shylaja.

More vaccine expected

Chief Secretary V. P. Joy said in the capital that 54.96 lakh had been covered with at least one dose of the vaccine. The State had zero wastage of vaccine. On Thursday, 2,05,228 doses were administered across the State (CoWin statistics).

The State’s target population under 45 years is approximately 1,15,000 individuals, which meant that another 65 lakh had to be delivered the first vaccine dose. The State’s actual requirement to fully vaccinate the entire 45-plus group was over a crore.

However, the current stock was just about 7,25,300 doses, which has been distributed to districts. With dwindling stock, on Thursday most districts had to massively cut down on the vaccination sites and mega vaccination camps. The State expected to receive two lakh doses of Covishield vaccine on Friday.

(With input from Thiruvananthapuram bureau)

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Printable version | May 16, 2021 12:59:19 PM |

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